View Full Version : Would just like to share this poem with you...
As I've mentioned before, I once went on a Battlefields tour with school, visiting the Somme, Ypres, Hill 60, Tyne Cot, Verdun, Devil's Wood, the Menin Gate, and a place called Flanders Fields.
Ever since that trip, Rememberance Day has meant so much more to me.
One poem, that I read whilst on this tour, has stuck with me, and I would just like to share it with you. It's called "In Flanders Fields", and was written by a man called John McCrae, who was a Canadian Medic.
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.
That's really nice :-)
I've heard that poem before actually- it's read in a film called "Mr Hollands Opus"... very good film! A must for us musicians to watch ;-)
Agreed, it's a really nice poem. Will think a bit more about how much it means to people on Sunday...
The Cornet King
I too visited the WW1 battlefield with school a few years back, and you really cannot imagine the hardships and suffering that the soldiers had to go through. We visited a site "Sanctuary Wood" where soldiers who were seperated from their battalions would go.
The trenches remain, just as they were back in the Great War and to think the men had to fight in such atrocious conditions. How much we owe to all the men that fought in that war, and that is why it is so important this Sunday to remember them all, British, German ,French. Everybody.
Here is my favourite war poem, which really does bring home the worst aspects of warfare in the time, by Wilfred Owen called Dulce et Decorum Est.
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned out backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.
Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!--An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams before my helpless sight
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin,
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
Bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
It's not a poem, but I once heard this story from a vicar, it made me think anyway...
The Vicar took some under-priveliged kids from a 'home' away to the battlefields and graves of the war, and as soon as they arrived, kids being kids, they ran straight off playing games. Unfortunately they started to run over the graves, with the vicar madly trying to stop them. A grave tender stopped the vicar and said a simple sentence: 'Let them be, the men in those graves died so that they can run over them.'
Both fantastic poems - never heard the poppy one before but really brings it home doesn't it. They shoud read these at all remebrance services too!
i thought i'd post this.
I was unaware, untill today, that there was a lot more to this poem, than that printed in bold below.
The complete Ode by Laurence Binyon (1869 * 1943)
With proud thanksgiving, A mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill, Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables at home;
They have no lot in our labour of the daytime;
They sleep beyond England's foam.
But where our desires are, and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the uttermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the night.
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches on the Heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end they remain.
Here's another one I heard read out at a remembrance festival last night. I'd sort of half switched off, as you do sat on stage waiting for the 3 choirs and poetry readings to finish before the band plays again, but the last verse caught my attention so I had a look for it on google to read the whole thing.
"The inquisitive mind of a child"
Why are they selling poppies, Mummy?
Selling poppies in town today.
The poppies, child, are flowers of love.
For the men who marched away.
But why have they chosen a poppy, Mummy?
Why not a beautiful rose?
Because my child, men fought and died
In the fields where the poppies grow.
But why are the poppies so red, Mummy?
Why are the poppies so red?
Red is the colour of blood, my child.
The blood that our soldiers shed.
The heart of the poppy is black, Mummy.
Why does it have to be black?
Black, my child, is the symbol of grief.
For the men who never came back.
But why, Mummy are you crying so?
Your tears are giving you pain.
My tears are my fears for you my child.
For the world is forgetting again.
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