Field Poppy

An on my Summer Solstice celebrations rage, this time with a short post on the Field Poppy:

Field Poppies (Papaver rhoeas) are one of Britian's most vibrant and beautiful wild flowers. Given their delicate splendour, is is no surprise to find the flowers are rich in folklore and symbolism.

Most people know of the poppy's connection with Armistice Day (often called Poppy Day). This association grew from the WW1 battlefields in France, where the fighting churned up the soil and brought thousands of dormant poppy seeds to the surface and decorated the land where so many had died in swathes of the gorgeous red flowers. The colourful scene which marked the fields where so much horror had suffering and death had occurred is, perhaps, best remembered in the following poem, written by Lieutenant Colonel 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.