Tuesday, November 11, 2008

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.

— Lt.-Col. (and Doctor) John McCrae

Canadian Physician and war hero.
Written by him in a trench on the battlefield during a lull in the bombing, on a scrap of paper on another soldier's back, on May 3rd, 1915. He was dead a few months later.


  1. *goosebumps*
    When I went to visit Gallipoli, I felt the undeniable weight of war on my own shoulders, the grim and deadly face of war was right in front of me and it was 80 odd years after so many young soldiers fought chest to chest.
    Poppies grow...

  2. Battle sites are so incredibly haunted, Gaye. I've sensed the death and pain in such places.
    War is so appalling, I don't know how we can reconcile such acts in a so-called civil society.

  3. Prompted by your post, I went back to some photos I had of a visit I made to northern France some years ago, and I found a photo of John McCrae's grave. I've posted it as a supplement to yours on my blog.

  4. This makes it very real indeed. OF.
    Thank you.

  5. An amazing poet! Thanks for reminding me WWW.


  6. This poem never fails to move me, Laura. He was so young.


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