Monday, May 28, 2012

May 28, 2012 -- little red poppies

It was totally unintentional that I chose tiny red poppies to display on the windowsill today, but I realize now they are appropriate for Memorial Day.  I'll copy the Flanders Fields info from Wikipedia below, so you can see why. These particular little red poppies grow along the railroad tracks near Howardsville, and it was from there that I first harvested their seeds. Now they pop up, but not in great numbers, all over the garden.  They are really delicate, and, as you may be able to see, one dropped its petals the minute I put it in the vase.






"In Flanders Fields" is a war poem in the form of a rondeau, written during the First World War by Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. He was inspired to write it on May 3, 1915, after presiding over the funeral of friend and fellow soldier Alexis Helmer, who died in the Second Battle of Ypres. According to legend, fellow soldiers retrieved the poem after McCrae, initially unsatisfied with his work, discarded it. "In Flanders Fields" was first published on December 8 of that year in the London-based magazine Punch.
It is one of the most popular and most quoted poems from the war. As a result of its immediate popularity, parts of the poem were used in propaganda efforts and appeals to recruit soldiers and raise money selling war bonds. Its references to the red poppies that grew over the graves of fallen soldiers resulted in the remembrance poppy becoming one of the world's most recognized memorial symbols for soldiers who have died in conflict. The poem and poppy are prominent Remembrance Day symbols throughout the Commonwealth of Nations, particularly in Canada, where "In Flanders Fields" is one of the nation's best known literary works.

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