Sunday, 10 November 2013

In Flanders Fields

 
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
John McCrae, May 1915

"In Flanders Fields" is one of the most poignant and iconic poems to come out of the mud, misery and mayhem of the First World War. It's certainly one that I always recall on Remembrance Sunday. I've also found out today that its author, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, was an ancestor of MD Jackson  -  hugely talented artist, writer, blogger and friend of TGWS. Mike told me that, as a child, he used to read this poem at school Remembrance Day assemblies, because of his family connection. Then, as today, beautiful works of literature or art such as this poem were and are  indispensable means of connecting our modern world, however briefly, to past generations and their unimaginable sacrifices. We must never forget...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I had forgotten it was Rememberence Day, or Veteran's Day, as we call it, although I guess I should remember. I'm a veteran, I was never in combat, I wasn't in Iraq or Afghanistan but I was in Germany in the 1st.AD at the end of the Cold War, when the Berlin Wall fell down and the whole world changed in a matter of days.
I thought that was pretty great..there was considerable chaos, but nobody fired a shot...that's a pretty good way to end a conflict, in my opinion.
This is a day to remember guys that got killed, wounded, or badly messed up, and by so doing saved us from tyranny and worse.

cerebus660 said...

Well said. I couldn't agree more. If all conflicts could be solved as peacefully as the domino-effect of the Communist countries' fall the world would be a better place. Unfortunately, it rarely works that way and we should never forget those who put their lives on the line to protect life, love and liberty. Thanks for the comment.

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