In Flanders Fields: 100 Years: Writing on War, Loss and Remembrance
In early 1915, the death of a young friend on the battlefields of Ypres inspired Canadian soldier, field surgeon and poet John McCrae to write "In Flanders Fields." Within months of the poem's December 1915 publication in the British magazine Punch it became part of the collective consciousness in North America and Europe, and its extraordinary power has endured over the decades and across generations. In this anthology, Canada's finest historians, novelists and poets contemplate the evolving meaning of the poem; the man who wrote it and the World War I setting from which it emerged; its themes of valour, grief and remembrance; and the iconic image of the poppy.
Among the thirteen contributors: Lieutenant-General Roméo Dallaire (ret'd) writes about the emotional meaning of the poem for war veterans; Tim Cook describes the rich and varied life of McCrae; Frances Itani revisits her time in Flanders, and mines the acts of witnessing and remembering; Kevin Patterson offers a riveting depiction of the adrenaline-fueled work of a WWI field surgeon; Mary Janigan reveals the poem's surprisingly divisive effect during the 1917 federal election; Ken Dryden tells us how lines from the poem ended up on the wall of the Montreal Canadiens' dressing room; and Patrick Lane recalls a Remembrance Day from his childhood in a moving reflection on how war shapes us all.
Gorgeously designed in full colour with archival and contemporary images, In Flanders Fields: 100 Years will reflect and illuminate the importance of art in how we process war and loss.
By: Amanda Betts
Hardcover: 272 pages