It was ninety-six years ago today

Canada has cemeteries of our war dead on foreign soil.  I visited one in Arnhem, Netherlands.  That, you never forget.
I was taught to read poetry – not line by line – but pausing with the actual punctuation.  It is so much more lyrical that way.
©2001 Marion Pennell

©2001 Marion Pennell

(John McCrae 1872-1918)

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.

et, en français

Au champ d’honneur les coquelicots

Sont parsemés de lot en lot

Auprès des croix. Et dans l’espace

Les alouettes, devenues lasses,

Mêlent leurs chants au sifflement

Des obusiers.

Nous sommes morts

Nous qui songions la veille encor’

À nos parents, à nos amis,

C’est nous qui reposons ici

Au champ d’honneur

À vous jeunes désabusés

À vous de porter l’oriflamme

Et de garder au fond de l’âme

Le goût de vivre en liberté

Acceptez le défi, sinon

Les coquelicots se faneront

Au champ d’honneur.


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