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  • Writer's pictureRevShirleyMurphy

In Flanders Fields



Perhaps the most quoted poem on war, In Flanders Fields was first published in December 1915 after it was penned by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae during the First World War.


John McCrae's poem may be the most famous one of the Great War. The day before he wrote "In Flanders Fields", one of John's closest friends was killed and buried in a grave decorated with only a simple wooden cross. Wild poppies were already blooming between the crosses that marked the graves of those who were killed in battle.


Unable to help his friend or other fallen soldiers, John McCrae gave them a voice through "In Flanders Field."


After appearing in London’s Punch magazine, it soon become a popular reflection on the sacrifice of war.


McCrae's focus was on the peace that follows death, from the perspective of fallen soldiers lying in their graves.


McCrae saw action in the First World War and supervised medical care in Boulogne with the Canadian Expeditionary Force.


IN FLANDERS FIELDS

by John McCrae


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.


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