In the Wind at My Back episode, Remembrance Day, Fat recites a touching rendition of “In Flanders Fields,” the quintessential Remembrance Day poem. Touching, and moving, it captures the thoughts of Canadian poet John McCrae.We reflect on one of our favourite remembrance day poems, “In Flanders Fields”.
Like Alden Cramp, McCrae fought in WWI and also lost one of his fellow soldiers, Alexis Helmer during the Second Battle of Ypres. The loss of Helmer inspired him to write” In Flander’s Fields”. Having conducted the burial himself, he realized how quickly poppies tended to grow around graves. McRae wrote the poem at the back of the ambulance the day after his comrade died in combat.
The beloved poem, takes us into the hearts and minds of the deceased. The poem highlights that though they are dead, what they leave behind is the legacy of soldiers who fought hard for freedom. With the current conflicts around the world, though the poem was written with World War One in mind, McCrae’s words still ring true. The sacrifices soldiers have and continue to make are what enables us to have peace.
McCrae was not actually happy with his work and intended to throw it away but thankfully, someone saved it and convinced him to submit it for publication. Re-read McCrae’s poem, and remember to have those who fought in your hearts and minds for Remembrance Day/Veteran’s Day tomorrow.
“In Flanders Fields”
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.
Do you have another favourite war poem? Share yours in the comments. Re-watch “Remembrance Day” with Wind at My Back: Season Four. Rewatch this clap from the “Remembrance Day” episode.