Sunday, 9 November 2014

IN FLANDERS FIELDS - POPPIES

Crochet Poppy - Instructions Below
I'm posting this a day early to give you time to make your poppy.

REMEMBRANCE

I started by thinking of all the words that poppies evoked in me.

Joy
Red
Seed
White
Fields
Paper
Opium
Salmon
Summer
Flanders
California
Himalayan
Ephemeral
Remembrance
Lest we Forget

Can you add any? The "Salmon" is there because I remembered some lovely peach coloured poppies I saw in a garden show a couple of years ago: Huge plate sized blooms which it was impossible to ignore. Himalayan poppies are an amazing turquoise blue. California poppies are a brilliant sun kissed deep yellow colour.

The phrase which kept returning to my head were "In Flanders Fields" and I realized I had never actually read the poem although I must have heard it read scores of times in my life. 

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.

by John McCrae, May 1915

Pondering on war, My thoughts often drift to my favourite artist Frank Marc who died in the first world war, sent to the front in error. My great grandfather was gassed and survived the war but died young. My grandfather, who was fighting for the other side, earned a military medal for rescuing a comrade from no-mans land under fire. My young great aunt died in the ensuing 1918 flu epidemic worsened by  war time lack of good nutrition.

The 1914-18 war wiped away a generation of young people just starting out in life and we are still experiencing echoes 100 years later. But we didn't learn .... Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, The Falklands. There must be a way to create a world community without warfare.

They died to give us a better life. May we never never forget.

Crochet instructions