Listen now | In Belgium, at the Flanders Fields Memorial, you can read about the poet, in French and English, and you can read the poem, too.
I did not realize the significance of poppies in relation to the WW1 and WW2 war effort and their veterans. My dad served in
Euope in WW2, and I am proud of his service. Thank you for sharing this poem and informing me more about these venerable servicemen. I reside in California, and every spring my front yard is ablaze with the orange glow of the California golden poppy. What a fitting tribute to our country's finest and best!
Whether on a lapel, in a vase, or in a garden the poppie is forever the remembrance of those who gave their life for our freedom. Their sacrifice was the price paid so future generations could flourish without fear of war. Perhaps poppies should be grown today in the fields of every country!
My grandfather fought at Flanders. He survived the war, but was permanently disabled from a mustard gas attack. A copy of this poem was among his treasured artifacts, of which I only recently was granted possession. He passed away from complications of his compromised health before I was born. But the final lines of this poem burned within him to his final day, according to everything I've heard about him. When told by a well-meaning friend that he was eligible for federal assistance because of his war injury, he retorted, "I did not serve my country all these years so that I could be a burden to her."
What make this unique among war poems is that it never once mentions war or killing.
Poppies that grow in Flanders are also unique. They don't bloom until the ground is disturbed, as when graves are dug.
A poignant and haunting tribute to these men lost in the flower of their youth.