Saturday, 11 November 2017
Here's a telling sentence from Giles Fraser's article in yesterday's Guardian:
"...I am always conscious that remembrance is too easily purloined by those who want to celebrate precisely the sort of militarism and nationalistic chauvinism that led so many young men to pointless deaths."
That certainly resonates with me, and for some years, in order to try and balance the motives behind Poppy Day I've worn a white poppy* alongside the red one..
In his article Fraser quotes this poem by Ellis Humphrey Evans, who was killed on the first day of Passchendaele:
Why must I live in this grim age,
When, to a far horizon, God
Has ebbed away, and man, with rage,
Now wields the sceptre and the rod?
Man raised his sword, once God had gone,
To slay his brother, and the roar
Of battlefields now casts upon
Our homes the shadow of the war.
The harps to which we sang are hung,
On willow boughs, and their refrain
Drowned by the anguish of the young
Whose blood is mingled with the rain
I believe the poem was originally written in Welsh.
I shall try to publish this post as near as possible to 11am today, and reflect on the poem in my Two Minutes' silence.
* These can be obtained from the Peace Pledge Union. It's probably too late to buy one for this year but you cn read about them here.