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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.

~ by John McCrae, May 1915

source: http://www.greatwar.co.uk/poems/john-mccrae-in-flanders-fields.htm

7 thoughts on “remembering

  1. One of the great poem of the Soldiers lost to war. The poem “Trees” is another. The poor Soldiers who saw death a coming. Wished and appreciated the beauty of life and nature. Thank you for posting the poem.


    • Yes, I agree. I hadn’t realized that the poem “Trees” was written in that context as well — a new understanding that adds a deeper level of appreciation for one of my favourite poems. Thanks for sharing your insights.


  2. As an army brat with a father and two grandfathers who served in several wars, I appreciate your post so much and “In Flanders Fields.” I love several poems from the World War I and World War II periods. Couldn’t help but share one of them with yours which has always been a sweet glimpse into the mind of a young man, what is dear and lost when he is committed to his pledged word. It is by Alan Seeger entitled “I Have a Rendezvous with Death.” Seeger died in July of 1916 and LtCol McCrae died in January of 1918:

    I have a Rendezvous with Death
    by Alan Seeger

    I have a rendezvous with Death
    At some disputed barricade,
    When Spring comes back with rustling shade
    And apple-blossoms fill the air
    I have a rendezvous with Death
    When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

    It may be he shall take my hand
    And lead me into his dark land
    And close my eyes and quench my breath
    It may be I shall pass him still.
    I have a rendezvous with Death
    On some scarred slope of battered hill,
    When Spring comes round again this year
    And the first meadow-flowers appear.

    God knows ’twere better to be deep
    Pillowed in silk and scented down,
    Where Love throbs out in blissful sleep,
    Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
    Where hushed awakenings are dear…
    But I’ve a rendezvous with Death
    At midnight in some flaming town,
    When Spring trips north again this year,
    And I to my pledged word am true,
    I shall not fail that rendezvous.

    Thank you


  3. Nice reminder of a very evocative poem, Sandy.

    Being from a small town, this was a staple of Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, and a few other public events every blessed year of my younger life. Too bad that we do not currently still lift up this timeless message.



    • Thanks, John. Yes, it’s a very special poem. We memorized and recited it when I was in elementary school. The poem, and the stories of the soldiers we were helping by buying a poppy pin, made a lasting impression.


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