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In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae

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.

DO FLOUNDERS FEEL

Do flounders feel the winter snows
Huddle for warmth row on row?
With space for plaice.
When tide is high
Do jellied eels go hurtling by
And slime the old and mock the slow.

I am a Manta Ray,called Joe,
My favourite food is fresh cod roe
I also love a strong fish pie
But so do seals.

I've been bullied by Fat Jones.
(A whale who plays the saxophone)
Twisted my wing so I don't fly
Tail-finned a slap and made me cry
All the way home, weeping alone.
Shame I can't conceal

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Last few words: 
This poem always brings a lump to my hroat and a tear to my eye. The parody wasn't my idea, but it may work
Editing stage: 
Workshop: 

Comments

Like you Tam, this poem has always slammed me around a little. McCrae as I understand it was a surgeon in the second battle of Ypres, but it's the one after that blows me away. That men could fight a battle in which some 500,000 died on a single day is unconscionable.
My objections to the poem are purely mechanical. I absolutely despise the capitalizing of each line whether it begins a sentence or not. I know it's been tradition since man made the wheel, but jeez it's annoying. Also McCrea does not use commas (or other punctuation) very judiciously. He even puts a comma in front of "and" which is a connective conjunction and acts as a comma in and of itself.
Being a form junkie, I think it is a mild flaw that the first stanza does not include the meter changing last line present in two and three.
Nevertheless, it is a powerful poem.
wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

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You have transcended it's highly emotive content to give sound feedback.

cheers,
Jess, Neopoet Directors
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

in agreement with your asessment once again. I wish that you weren't so good and that I was a little faster in responding with a critique of my own. However, seeing that it is a very widely accepted practice to capitalize the first letter of the next line, I feel that it isn't exactly a wrong thing to do. [ Especially since it is a thing that I often do myself ]. ~ Gee

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It's been such a common practice for so long I suspect most people (even many poets) don't notice it. It makes me nuts. wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Learn how, teach others.
The NeoPoet Mentor Program
http://www.neopoet.com/mentor/about

unless you figure out how to turn it off. But that is not the excuse in this case.

It will be interested seeing it edited.

cheers,
Jess, Neopoet Directors
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

i feel there is too many punctuation in the poem and it takes effort to find meaning because of flaw in flow and the unnecessary punctuation.. such as these two lines

that mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,

tis probably why i never like reading poetry before coming to neopoet.

*Collaborative Poetry Workshop* American Version of Japanese Poetry ~ Renga ~ Haiku, Senyru, Tanka. All Neopoets welcome to join the Collaborative Poetry Writing Workshop.
https://pixiblogs.blacpixi.com/

Technically, I can see why the punctuation is important. It is the kind of poem that demands to be read slowly and out loud. The subject matter is such that I can see the concrete crosses as I read the words - and the poppies. My own problem with this piece is the lack of a hope for peace :
Settle our quarrel with the foe!.
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch of peace, now hold it high.
Do not break faith with those who died!
Then can we sleep, where poppies grow,
In Flanders fields.

Not a poetic improvement, but a hope for the future

Ian

TIME FLIES LIKE AN ARROW, BUT FRUIT FLIES LIKE A BANANA

author comment

This workshop is not just about commas, it is challenging the assumptions and beliefs within the poem.

cheers,
Jess, Neopoet Directors
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

Reading slow is challenging for me since I tend to read poetry fast like a song.
If I had written it, it wouldn't need all the punctuation just some punct. to make the main point stand out in every stanza.
I will attempt to read it slow and out loud. After all critiquing poetry is about learning to read poetry of different style. Which is what I need to grasp.

*Collaborative Poetry Workshop* American Version of Japanese Poetry ~ Renga ~ Haiku, Senyru, Tanka. All Neopoets welcome to join the Collaborative Poetry Writing Workshop.
https://pixiblogs.blacpixi.com/

and others, out loud and slow. Or fast as the poem may require, like hip-hop.

skinhead version-
Oi mush
I'm fucked
and so are you,
well fuck that
and fuck flowers,
get the cunts wot done it.

cheers,
Jess, Neopoet Directors
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

i don't follow instruction well at all I know. So I'm glad you invited me to this workshop..
Now I see why I must read out loud and slow.
loud or slow I can't read the skinhead version,.
With that said, reading out loud didn't help with the flow of this poem at all for me.
I get bogged down in the many punctuations

*Collaborative Poetry Workshop* American Version of Japanese Poetry ~ Renga ~ Haiku, Senyru, Tanka. All Neopoets welcome to join the Collaborative Poetry Writing Workshop.
https://pixiblogs.blacpixi.com/

is another's exclamation mark! ;) At least that's how I interpret most poems. I don't let the punctuation distract from the content, unless it is so blatant as to make it impossible to read!
I never ranked McCrae amongst the war poetry "greats" like Wilfred Owen, or Siegfried Sassoon, so this was an unexpected treat. I greatly appreciate the symbolism in the opening verse. Being of British descent, the "poppy" is indelibly etched in my mind, as the epitomy of war memorablia. Interesting how, despite the gravity of the tone - the postive realism of "The larks, still bravely singing, fly." is juxtaposioned against "Scarce heard amid the guns below" - an effective contast which enhances the visual imagery.
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.
Fabulous use of "tenses" present to past to present again. Also hinges on irony and paradox. Tam, as idealistic as your comment and re-write is, I think one can only but appreciate the desire for revenge, as suggested by the closing lines - "If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields."
Brilliant piece! One of the Masters, indeed!
Thanks Tam!
Bonitaj

Bonitaj

N.B. Please post your edit/ re-write as a poem straight after the original in the same box, so we can compare them directly. Do not post as a comment on the thread or on a separate page. Click edit and paste your work in directly after the original poem.

In other words both poems, the original and the edit/rewrite should appear in the post. Sorry if I was unclear

cheers,
Jess, Neopoet Directors
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

I like yopur rewrite better. But I do think that it could use some help in the meter department. It seems that your last lines are lacking! (<- a little alliteration nnever hurt! lol ;) )

I couldn't argue with you , I did it all in a bit of a hurry to get some peace from the wee Ozzie. Glad you liked it .
Ian

TIME FLIES LIKE AN ARROW, BUT FRUIT FLIES LIKE A BANANA

author comment

I never knew you had it in you? The same sacrilegious humour the Aussies have? Well! Some more than others.... ;)
But to be serious, which I know is not your intent! Boy! You turned this one on it's head. Don't know if I feel that comfortable with it though, positioning it that close to the grim weightiness of the original. I think the poor dead bastards will be turning in those self -same graves at Flanders!
Boni

Bonitaj

I did make a conscious decision to allow no connection, nothing but the similar poetic construction without a single reference to the original and the war. I think the poor squaddies who made the sacrifice in WW1 have more to get pissed at than my poor efforts to make someone laugh. Glad you read it
Ian

TIME FLIES LIKE AN ARROW, BUT FRUIT FLIES LIKE A BANANA

author comment

I didn't mean to engender any guilt.... ;) not that you'd take it on anyway! ;)
Cheers
Boni

Bonitaj

totally no connection to original , but that's your intent I read above. The first line stumble a lot for me , but after reading your come above i understand lack of connection with the last two stanza. I find the last two beautiful and enjoyed reading.
With A little work needed on the first stanza I think this the reworks well

*Collaborative Poetry Workshop* American Version of Japanese Poetry ~ Renga ~ Haiku, Senyru, Tanka. All Neopoets welcome to join the Collaborative Poetry Writing Workshop.
https://pixiblogs.blacpixi.com/

with an interesting slant. Thanks for participating.

Any feedback on this workshop or ideas for future ones please let me know at
http://new.neopoet.com/workshop/critique-quickie

cheers,
Jess, Neopoet Directors
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

I heard Weirdelf streaked on Bondi beach,
Flashed his butt like a fluffy wee peach
Gave old Sheilas, no joke
A fright; one had a stroke
But her unlucky friend couldn't reach

Better out than in.
regards
Ian

TIME FLIES LIKE AN ARROW, BUT FRUIT FLIES LIKE A BANANA

author comment

When Weirdelf streaked on Bondi beach,
Flashed his butt like a fluffy wee peach
he fought off the darlings, the hags
in favour of some tantric shags
and caused the universe itself to screech

cheers,
Jess, Neopoet Directors
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

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