In Flanders Fields

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae was a Canadian poet, physician, author, artist and soldier during World War I.  McCrae was a field surgeon in the Canadian artillery and was in charge of a field hospital during the Second Battle of Ypres, in Belgium.  A close friend of McCrae’s, Lt. Alexis Helmer, was killed in this battle.  It is said that after seeing the horrors of the war, and this particular battle, and the burial of his friend,  McCrae sat down and wrote this poem.   “In Flanders Fields”,  was written on May 3, 1915.


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.

By John McCrae

This poem is in the public domain.