Happy Armistice/Remembrance/Veterans Day!

Ever since 1919, Armistice Day has been celebrated as a memorial day to remember those who have fought and died in war. The holiday is celebrated on November 11, to remember the official end of the fighting of World War One. An armistice was signed by opposing sides and the fighting ended at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. Since then it has become a memorial day to celebrate any and all servicemen and civilians who have sacrificed during times of war (and peace). Of all holidays, I think this is the one that holds the most merit with it.

In honor of Armistice Day, I’d like to post one of my favorite poems: In Flanders Field by Canadian John McCrae. I’d just like to add that the reason poppies have become associated with Armistice Day and with this poem in particular is because red poppies began to bloom like crazy in the field in Flanders where men had fallen and been buried–where they hadn’t bloomed like this before.

In Flanders Field
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.

 

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The Complete Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe

Title: The Complete Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe
Author
: Edgar Allan Poe 
Genre
: poetry
ISBN
: 0451526406
Pages
: 99 (not including the introduction (by Jay Parini), which I skipped)
Year
Published: 1996 (for this specific edition)
Source:
personal collection
Rating
: ??/5
Reason for Reading: I’ve had it for many years and never cracked it open; also, I thought his poetry would be somewhat spooky like I hear his short stories are, so I thought they might qualify for the RIP Challenge

There really isn’t a summary for this, as it’s a collection of poetry.

My Thoughts: Well, I dislike poetry so that pretty much sums up my thoughts for this collection. Why did I read it? Because 1) I’ve owned it for at least 5+ years and never opened it, even though it is very short and 2) I have heard Poe’s short stories are really creepy and I thought his poetry would reflect that. But alas! most of his poetry was not that spooky. However, The Raven and The Haunted Palace were enjoyable and somewhat spooky–The Haunted Palace was my favorite from this collection, aside from Annabel Lee which I read in junior high (nearly a decade ago) and LOVED. So, The Haunted Palace was my favorite new-to-me poem of Poe’s. (I’ve also read The Raven before and really liked it.)

So I’m not going to count this read towards my RIP Challenge goals. But I am going to read some of Poe’s short stories later today online, via PoeStories.com, so perhaps my Edgar Allan Poe Miscellaneous-group of stuff will count towards the challenge.

My Thoughts on the Cover: Well, there really isn’t a cover to speak of. I mean, it’s just a portrait of Poe, so it’s rather boring. I quite like a different Signet Classic cover because it has a raven silhouette on it. But even then, it’s still pretty unimaginative.

Since it’s rather short, I also figured I’d just copy the text for The Haunted Palace below, as it was my favorite new-to-me poem.

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The Haunted Palace

In the greenest of our valleys,
By good angels tentated,
Once a fair and stately palace–
Radiant Palace–reared its head.
In the monarch Thought’s dominion–
It stood there!
Never seraph spread a pinion
Over fabric half so fair!

Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
On its roof did float and flow,
(This–all this–was in the olden
Time long ago,)
And every gentle air that dallied,
In that sweet day,
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid,
A winged odor went away.

Wanderers in that happy valley,
Through two luminous windows, saw
Spirits moving musically
To a lute’s well-tuned law,
Round about a throne, where sitting,
Porphyrogene!
In state his glory well befitting,
The rule of the realm was seen.

And all with pearl and ruby glowing
Was the fair palace door,
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing,
And sparkling evermore ,
A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty
Was but to sing,
In voices of surpassing beauty,
The wit and wisdom of their king.

But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
Assailed the monarch’s high estate.
(Ah, let us mourn!–for never morrow
Shall dawn upon him, desolate!)
And round about his home the glory
That blushed and bloomed,
Is but a dim-remembered story
Of the old time entombed.

And travellers, now, within that valley,
Through the red-litten windows see
Vast forms that move fantastically
To a discordant melody,
While, like a ghastly rapid river,
Through the pale door
A hideous throng rush out forever,
And laugh–but smile no more.