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Author Topic: In Flanders Fields
Bobolink
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Member # 1386

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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 amidst 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.

These words were written by Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, Brigade Surgeon of the First Brigade, Canadian Field Artillery. It was written on May 3, 1915 after he buried a friend following the first battle of Ypres. The significance of poppies is that they will only grow in turned soil. The churning up of the fields of Flanders (northeast France) by the guns of both sides created ideal conditions for poppies. The last two lines of the poem are an ironic comment on the opium derived from poppies.

On Nov. 11, Canada observes Remembrance Day while the United States observes Veterans Day. In the forest of Compiegne, France, at the the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the Armistice was signed between the newborn German Republic and the Allied Powers.

You can read more about Dr. McCrae here and here.


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We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

- Albert Einstein

[This message has been edited by Bobolink (edited 11-10-2002).]

[This message has been edited by Bobolink (edited 11-10-2002).]

[This message has been edited by Bobolink (edited 11-10-2002).]

[This message has been edited by Bobolink (edited 11-10-2002).]

[This message has been edited by Bobolink (edited 11-10-2002).]


Posts: 3442 | From: Stirling, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Beppie
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Thanks, Bobo, for posting this. I might not have remembered otherwise. Now I'll make sure I buy a poppy at some stage today.

I'd also like to post another poem, but the great World War I poet, Wilfred Owen, who died, unnecessarily, mere days before the war ended.

Futility
Move him into the sun--
Gently its touch awoke him once,
At home, whispering of fields unsown.
Always it woke him, even in France,
Until this morning, and this snow.
If anything might rouse him now
The kind old sun will know.

Think how it wakes the seeds--
Woke, once, the clays of a cold star.
Are limbs, so dear-achieved, are sides,
Full-nerved--still warm--too hard to stir?
Was it for this the clay grew tall?
--O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
To break the earth's sleep at all?

-Wilfred Owen


Posts: 2710 | From: Australia | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MiSs_Behave
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I love that first poem. I had to remember and recite it in Primary school. Lest we forget.

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Follow your inner moonlight, don't hide the MaDdNeSs...


Posts: 56 | From: Land of Oz | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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