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Monday, November 11, 2013

Poets on Patriotism

For John, BLUFEven Poets served in WWI, including Sergeant Joyce Kilmer (Trees).  Nothing to see here; just move along.

For reasons now unclear to me, I was chosen to recite this poem before my fellow high school students in Assembly.  All 2400 of them.

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.

While Lt-Col McCrae was a medical doctor, he was an artillery man at heart.

Then there was the cynic who wrote:

And if we win,
And crush the Huns
In twenty years
We must fight their sons.
That was Mr Joseph Leftwich, who wrote it during the war, in anticipation of WWII.  The whole thing can be found here.

Since both these poems come from World War I, a much maligned war, here is a small corrective.  An article from The Telegraph, a London paper.

Regards  —  Cliff

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