the blog of dan pontefract | 100 Years Ago Today, In Flanders Fields
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100 Years Ago Today, In Flanders Fields

Mimageay 3, 1915 was the day in which society’s (arguably) most famous wartime poem was written.

John McCrae, author of In Flanders Fields, had witnessed (the previous day) the loss of his very good friend, Alexis Helmer, killed by German shelling. The previous weeks, McCrae — a doctor tasked with the responsibility of assisting WWI soldiers wounded in action under unimaginable scenes of horror and bloodshed– attended to the bodies of hundreds of others.

The sights were gruesome.

The pressure exerted on McCrae must have been like affixing your own head into a vice grip and turning the crank inward.

But In Flanders Fields is not only a classic poem, it’s an example of channeling one’s emotions, beliefs and hopes into art, reconciling for others to ideally learn from.

I’m forever moved by In Flanders Fields.

Perhaps this is why I write myself; to channel my emotions, beliefs and hopes into art, reconciling for others to ideally learn from.

A copy of the poem is placed to the left of our front door foyer. Has been for many, many years.

There is not a day that goes by where I don’t think about John McCrae and his poem. One hundred years later, I am morally indebted to a man I never met.

Let art forever teach compassion for compassion is the beginning of our humanity.

___________

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.

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