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In Flanders Fields

"In Flanders Fields" Poem

by Lt. Col. John McCrae
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"In Flanders Fields" is one of the most notable poems written during World War I, perhaps even the most famous war poem of all time. Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote it on 3 May 1915, after he witnessed the death of his friend, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, 22 years old, the day before.

 

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.
 

"In Flanders Fields" was first published in December 1915. Within months, this poem came to symbolize the sacrifices of all who were fighting in the First World War. Today, the poem continues to be a part of memorial ceremonies around the world, including our annual "In Flanders Fields Memorial" at the Clinton War Memorial in New York City, which has a verse of the famous poem inscribed in its foot.

For more info email 2014-18@flandershouse.org.