We love and are loved

I have a Veteran’s Day/Armistice Day post percolating in my mind, but I’ve miles to go before I sleep or even sit down today, so it likely won’t ever make its way out of my imagination.  So here’s a poem instead.

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. John McCrae (1872 – 1918)


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12 Responses to We love and are loved

  1. Stephen says:

    Thank you for this post.

  2. Thora says:

    I wanted to go to Flander’s Fields when I was in France, but didn’t get there. In England disabled veterans make paper poppies and everyone buys them and wears them on Veteran’s Day. I wish we did something like this here – it feels like in America half the time people don’t think of what Veteran’s Day is at all, besides a day with no mail/school.

  3. zstitches says:

    Thora, I’m pretty sure we rode past one of the fields on our bikes one time when we got lost in the nether regions of one of my mission areas one day. And we definitely drove past them a few times. I don’t remember seeing poppies, but many many many rows of crosses.

    Apparently the paper poppy tradition is also big in Canada, and I agree that it would be nice to have that here. Our local Scout troop did put up flags–or, actually, one diligent man in the ward did, and the Scouts helped take them down in the evening.

  4. Jen says:

    I think they do the poppies in Hawaii, too. Must be areas where there are high soldier densities. Very nice post.

  5. DeLaina says:

    One of my favorite poems. Flanders Fields is such a sobering experience.

    God bless America and all of those who give their time to protect our great country.

  6. the MomB says:

    A friend of mine told me that they were giving out poppies at Macey’s this year. I remember veterans on street corners distributing them when I was young in the Pacific Northwest. I miss them. I’m going to start wearing poppies on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

  7. Aunt Ginger says:

    So, all these years of my life I thought the poem began, In Flanders fields the poppies grow . . . . Blow?

    Aunt Ginger

    • zstitches says:

      I’m pretty sure while I was finding a version of this for my blog I saw something (maybe on Wikipedia) that said that there are contemporary accounts that either version (blow or grow) is valid–I’ll let you look it up, but I think I saw something like that.

      • zstitches says:

        Yeah, I remembered right:

        “A portion of the poem is now printed on Canadian $10 notes, where it spawned a rumour that the poem had been misprinted, resulting from popular confusion between the first line’s “blow” and the penultimate line’s “grow.” The use of “grow” in the first line is, however, an authentic variation. It appears in at least one autograph (see In Flanders Fields, and Other Poems), and schools in Guelph (McCrae’s birthplace) once taught that “the poppies grow” could refer to spreading blood stains on the shallow graves.”

        (From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Flanders_Fields)

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