Posts Tagged ‘war’

Forties (English version)

Friday, November 11th, 2011

für die deutsche Version dieses Artikels hier klicken

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.

November is the month of poppies in England. Everyone wears one on his lapel, coat, sweatshirt or car. Emil and Theo explained what they had learned at school about it: the battle fields in the first World War looked like poppy fields when viewed from a plane because so much blood had been shed. Or the other way round: When flying over poppy fields the RAF pilots were reminded of their comrades’ down in the trenches.

What really happened was that poppies were the first flowers to come to bloom on the graves of dead soldiers in Flanders. Inspired by these red blossoms the Canadian doctor John McCrae wrote the poem In Flanders Fields, the first stanza of which you can read above.