Sunday, 10 November 2013

Remembrance Day

 Today is an important day for the UK and the Commonwealth countries as the Remembrance Day or Poppy Day is celebrated .
This day remembers all the members of the army who died during the Great World,  or World War I .
When this war broke out, many citizens rushed to join the army feeling the duty of fight for their country and die with honour defending it .
The symbol of this day is a red poppy which grows near the graves of the fallen soldiers and the reason why the poppy has became its symbol is this war poem by McCrae . This poem is one of the best known of the war poems and it was used as an incentive for making men join the army. The poem, told in first person by  the dead buried in Flanders Field ,insists that the living should keep on fighting .

 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 field.

Another famous poem that shares this romantic vision of the war is "The Soldier " by  Rupert  Brooke.
If I should die, think only this of me;
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
 As time went by the romantic idea vanished into bitterness. Thousands of casualties, soldiers suffering from shell shock ,food shortage ... One of the best known poems of this period of disillusion is "Dulce Et  Decorum Est " by Wilfred Owen . This poem describes vividly  the horror  that the soldiers live in the war trenches .

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
the old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.

One of my favourite war poem is "They "  by Siegfried Sassoon  . This poet helped Wilfred Owen to find his style since he wanted to tell to truth about the war .

THE Bishop tells us: ‘When the boys come back 
‘They will not be the same; for they’ll have fought 
‘In a just cause: they lead the last attack 
‘On Anti-Christ; their comrades’ blood has bought 
‘New right to breed an honourable race,      
‘They have challenged Death and dared him face to face.’ 
‘We’re none of us the same!’ the boys reply. 
‘For George lost both his legs; and Bill’s stone blind; 
‘Poor Jim’s shot through the lungs and like to die; 
‘And Bert’s gone syphilitic: you’ll not find 
‘A chap who’s served that hasn’t found some change.’ 
And the Bishop said: ‘The ways of God are strange!’


No comments:

Post a Comment