In Flanders Fields

by LT. COL. JOHN McCRAE, M.D., (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

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.

John McCrae

When the UK declared war on Germany at the start of World War I, Canada declared war as well. John McCrae was a field surgeon in the Canadian artillery and was in charge of a field hospital during the 2nd Battle of Ypres in 1915. McCrae’s friend and former student, Lt. Alexis Helmer, was killed in the battle. His burial inspired In Flanders Fields, which was written on May 3, 1915 and first published in the magazine Punch.

John McCrae Contemporaries
Alfred Noyes
Emile Nelligan
Robert Frost
Carl Sandburg

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