War Poetry


“‘In Flanders Fields’ is a war poem in the form of a rondeau, written during the First World War by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. He was inspired to write it on May 3, 1915, after presiding over the funeral of friend and fellow soldier Alexis Helmer, who died in the Second Battle of Ypres. According to legend, fellow soldiers retrieved the poem after McCrae, initially dissatisfied with his work, discarded it. ‘In Flanders Fields’ was first published on December 8 of that year in the London-based magazine Punch.”

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.


A good source for war poetry from around the world is Carolyn Forché’s anthology, Against Forgetting.

“In Flanders Fields.” Wikipedia. 11 Nov. 2015. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

4 comments on “War Poetry

  1. richardbolger61 says:

    SCENE OF 1940 WW2?


  2. Kelly says:

    Will and his classmates (6th grade) memorized this and recited in class for Veterans Day. So old school and honestly wonderful! Great moment to talk with him about the poem, the costs of war, and even about things like the power of a pause.


  3. Just goes to show: sometimes we are not the best judges of our own work.

    Liked by 1 person

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