Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend, 2010

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army

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.



  1. Thanks for this. It's one of my favorite poems. So powerful!

    The crusty Rolling Thunder guys have been rolling past all day long. Tomorrow there will be more of them and Monday? It will be a deafening roar. They sure are sweet, though, smiling and waving as they go by.

    I'm against war of any kind but I also admire the guts and valour of soldiers.

    What is remembered, lives. And now, back to life with the living!

  2. Though great poems have been written during all wars, I chose this one because I love the imagery of the first two stanzas. The larks singing above the battlefield, and the dead who had 'lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow' just days earlier. So poignant.

    I, too, oppose all war in theory, but recognize that historically, some have been justifiable and unavoidable. The selfless and courageous service by soldiers in those circumstances is noble, indeed.

    I just hope people all over this world we love so much will begin to have 'the strangest dream.'

  3. his voice was so sweet and clear and in tune. we graduated from high school that year. we had subliminally been processing the newsreels of Vietnam for a few years, which at the time were the social medium, unheard of and not fathomable from wars past. brick on brick, our consciousness evolves, not so much as individuals but as one force, transforming. the other day on network news, the Dalai Lama was interviewed for the first time in front of that social medium. asked whether he thought we were getting better as a people, or worse, whether we were getting more compassionate or less. "Better," he said with conviction. "Definitely better."

    So maybe Jo. Maybe, the strangest dream is spreading, as channels open and connections are made.

  4. Thank you so much, Dubby.

    When I found this version of the song, I went to rediscover John Denver and remembered why I loved him so much. It's not for his mainstream commercial songs, but for the lesser known pieces he did. That voice is unbelievably pure.

    When I read your comment about our collective counsciousness, I was reminded of a disagreement I had with a person a few years ago who insisted that a community could not evolve...only individuals within that community could do so. I maintained that families, neighborhoods, cities, countries, and the world all have collective consciousnesses that are continually evolving.

    So, as channels continue to open and connections continue to be made, we will continue to dream the strangest of dreams.


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