Remembrance Sunday Poems

Remembrance Sunday Poems: We go to verse in those minutes when common language appears to be deficient. As we remember the century of the First World War today, the verse originated from that contention that permits us genuinely to comprehend what Wilfred Owen called “the pity of war,” and examine the horrendous death toll it involved.

The truth of the Great War was reflected in words of artists who gave their lives in administration, such as Owen and John McRae, while the penance of their age is thrown in another light in the tributes of later essayists, such as Philip Larkin, whose moving poem MCMXIV captures the delicate blamelessness and harmony in the days prior to the war.

 

Remembrance Sunday Poems

Remembrance Sunday Poems

 

 

 

Remembrance Sunday Poems

Remembrance Sunday Poems

 

 

Remembrance Sunday Poems

Remembrance Sunday Poems

 

Remembrance Sunday Poems

Remembrance Sunday Poems

 

This is also, however, a time to remember those…

We take a look at some of the most poignant poems written in honour of the troops who fought in the two World Wars

 

Remembrance Sunday Poems

Remembrance Sunday Poems

 

Remembrance Sunday Poems

Remembrance Sunday Poems

 

Remembrance Sunday Poems

Remembrance Sunday Poems

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

 

 

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.

 

 

The cold November wind blows while memories stir again,
Thoughts of strife and hardships, of anguish and of pain.
Though time has dimmed the heartaches, the imprints are still there.
The poppies at the graveside, the comrades knelt in prayer.

So many men have fallen, so many lives were lost;
The price to pay for freedom exacts a heavy cost.
Dare we forget the battles that raged on foreign shores,
And live in ease and comfort, far from the cannon’s roars?

Lest we forget the reason, lest we forget the tears,
Lest we forget the message passed on throughout the years,
We gather to remember, to honour those who’ve died,
And thank God for the vet’rans who still stand at our side.

They fought in quest of freedom, they conquered, then returned.
Today we pay them homage, a tribute they have earned!

We wear the blood red poppy, the pipes play the lament,
We pause for just a moment, the message has been sent:
“LEST WE FORGET,” it beckons, lest we have fought in vain,
REMEMBER! Oh, REMEMBER! Lest we face war again!”

 

 

In the midst of unrest, issue and conflict, when words bomb us, we frequently go to verse for comfort and solace.

It was the same during the war, and on the centennial of the World War One, people are going to verse again to give them a superior comprehension of the truth of war.

Wilfred Owen considered it the “pity of war” and his verse, and the writers of the time caught that in their words.

The Great War is reflected in their rhymes and lines, with numerous fighters putting pen to paper to attempt to pass on the horrible conditions.

From Owen to John McRae, they all illuminate the circumstance.

The individuals who came after have likewise attempted.

Here are a couple of lyrics to peruse on Remembrance Day.

 

Lest we forget – Ode of Remembrance taken from Laurence Binyon’s For The Fallen

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them.

  • The full poem of seven verses was originally published in the Times in September 2014 and composed in honour of the early heavy casualties on the Western Front. The fourth verse, Lest We Forget, has become a traditional part of services of remembrance.
Remembrance Sunday Poems

Remembrance Sunday Poems

Remembrance Sunday Poems

Remembrance Sunday Poems

The Soldier – Rupert Brooke

If I should die, think only this of me:

That there’s some corner of a foreign field

That is forever England. There shall be

In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;

A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,

Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,

A body of England’s, breathing English air,

Washed by the rivers, blest by the suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,

A pulse in the eternal mind, no less

Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;

Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;

And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,

In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

 

Who was Brooke?

Remembrance Sunday Poems

Remembrance Sunday Poems

Brooke joined the British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in WW1. He died of an infection in 1915 on his way to Gallipoli. The poem is often read to remember those dying away from home at war.

 

Drummer Hodge by Thomas Hardy

They throw in Drummer Hodge, to rest

Uncoffined — just as found:

His landmark is a kopje-crest

That breaks the veldt around:

And foreign constellations west

Each night above his mound.

Young Hodge the drummer never knew —

Fresh from his Wessex home —

The meaning of the broad Karoo,

The Bush, the dusty loam,

And why uprose to nightly view

Strange stars amid the gloam.

Yet portion of that unknown plain

Will Hodge for ever be;

His homely Northern breast and brain

Grow up some Southern tree,

And strange-eyed constellations reign

His stars eternally.

Hardy’s poem is similar to Brooke’s in his devices. While it was written before, Hardy composed it in 1899 in response to the Ango-Boer War. It focuses on the drummers.

 

In Flanders Fields by John McRae

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.

Remembrance Sunday Poems

Remembrance Sunday Poems

McRae’s poem, written in 1915, is written from the perspective of the dead soldiers lying in their graves.

It urges the reader to avenge their deaths. The poem became very popular and was often used in motivational adverts and recruitment campaigns for the war. Now it is used in remembrance. McRae was a Canadian doctor and Lt Crpl in the First World War. He died of pneumonia on the battlefield in January 1918.

 

Charge of the Light Brigade by Lord Tennyson

Half a league, half a league,

Half a league onward,

All in the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!

Charge for the guns!” he said.

Into the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”

Was there a man dismayed?

Not though the soldier knew

Someone had blundered.

Theirs not to make reply,

Theirs not to reason why,

Theirs but to do and die.

Into the valley of Death

Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,

Cannon to left of them,

Cannon in front of them

Volleyed and thundered;

Stormed at with shot and shell,

Boldly they rode and well,

Into the jaws of Death,

Into the mouth of hell

Rode the six hundred.

Flashed all their sabres bare,

Flashed as they turned in air

Sabring the gunners there,

Charging an army, while

All the world wondered.

Plunged in the battery-smoke

Right through the line they broke;

Cossack and Russian

Reeled from the sabre stroke

Shattered and sundered.

Then they rode back, but not

Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,

Cannon to left of them,

Cannon behind them

Volleyed and thundered;

Stormed at with shot and shell,

While horse and hero fell.

They that had fought so well

Came through the jaws of Death,

Back from the mouth of hell,

All that was left of them,

Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?

O the wild charge they made!

All the world wondered.

Honour the charge they made!

Honour the Light Brigade,

Noble six hundred!

Remembrance Sunday Poems

Remembrance Sunday Poems

The poem about the Crimean War was written in 1854. It was popular when written with: “Theirs not to reason why/Theirs but to do and die”

 

And Death Shall Have No Dominion by Dylan Thomas

They shall have stars at elbow and foot;

Though they go mad they shall be sane,

Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;

Though lovers be lost love shall not;

And death shall have no dominion.

The poem was written in 1933, between the wars.

An Irish Airman Foresees His Death by WB Yeats

I know that I shall meet my fate

Somewhere among the clouds above;

Those that I fight I do not hate

Those that I guard I do not love;

My country is Kiltartan Cross,

My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor,

No likely end could bring them loss

Or leave them happier than before.

Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,

Nor public man, nor cheering crowds,

A lonely impulse of delight

Drove to this tumult in the clouds;

I balanced all, brought all to mind,

The years to come seemed waste of breath,

A waste of breath the years behind

In balance with this life, this death.

Yeats’ poem is seen as a measured commentary on being on the front line.

 

MCMXIV by Philip Larkin

Never such innocence,

Never before or since,

As changed itself to past

Without a word – the men

Leaving the gardens tidy,

The thousands of marriages,

Lasting a little while longer:

Never such innocence again.

 

Remembrance Sunday Poems

Remembrance Sunday Poems

 

Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen

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 gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling

Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,

But someone still was yelling out and stumbling

And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—

Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,

As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight,

He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace

Behind the wagon that we flung him in,

And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,

His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood

Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,

Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud

Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest

To children ardent for some desperate glory,

The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est

 

 

 

 

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