NateDiemer-JohnMcCrae - West Fargo Public Schools

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Created by Nate Diemer
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Biography
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“John McCrae’s account of World War I, ‘In Flanders Fields’ (1915),
remains Canada’s best-known poem.”(John McCrae)
This quote shows that in the almost 100 years since it was published, his
poem “In Flanders Fields” is still regarded as the best poem of an
extremely large and diverse country. . McCrae was born on November
30, 1872, in Guelph, Ontario (“John McCrae Biography” Famous Poets
and Poems.com). He was both a teacher and a student to academics and
warfare. He served as a field surgeon and artilleryman in a multitude of
wars, doing no shame to his father Lieutenant David McCrae (“John
Mccrae Biography” Essortment.com). John died of pneumonia and
meningitis during active duty as a field surgeon in the Canadian artillery
(“John McCrae Biography” Famous Poets and Poems.com). It wasn’t until
after his death that most of his poetry became popular or well known
outside of Canada. His life was greatly influenced by the multiple wars
he served in during his short 46 year life, most notably World War I. In
fact, these wars shaped almost every single poem he ever wrote. There
is not a large amount of information about where or when McCrae began
writing poetry. What is known is that by 1899, sixteen of his poems and
short stories had been published in multiple magazines .He was a very
well educated man as well as a poet and a soldier. He obtained a
Bachelor’s Arts Degree from the University of Toronto in 1894 (“John
Mccrae Biography” Essortment.com). McCrae also studied medicine and
obtained a Bachelor of Medicine Degree from the University of Toronto
Medical School (“John McCrae Biography” Famous Poets and
Poems.com). Although he didn’t live to see it, his poem “In Flanders
Fields” became a powerful work that is renowned worldwide today. He
is also known for writing many poems about his experiences in the wars
he fought in throughout his life. He has a scholarship named after him
and won the Victoria Cross in 1915 for his bravery.
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John McCrae’s poetry is distinct in the fact that it is mostly
written about his religious ideas or of the wars he has fought in.
His poetry is unique because he is writing about his experiences
in these wars. He is probably best known for his elegies, which
deal mostly with death. He also frequently uses figurative
language and extremely vivid imagery. A great example of this is
in his poem “In Flanders Fields”, where he speaks of the
poppies blowing and the larks flying about, things that men who
fought on the front lines would never have remembered had he
not written it. He worked to create a perfect picture in your
mind every time it is read and without question succeeded.
Though all of his poetry is extremely meaningful, “In Flanders’s
Fields” is one of the main reasons why he is remembered. He is
also well known simply for his wartime achievements. He was a
great man, and his influence on every poet from his death to
present, will not easily be forgotten.
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“A Song Of Comfort” “The Night Cometh”
“The Oldest Drama”
“Anarchy”
“The Pilgrims”
“Disarmament”
“The Shadow Of The Cross”
“Equality”
“The Song Of The Derelict”
“Eventide”
“The Unconquered Dead”
“In Due Season”
“The Warrior”
“In Flanders Field”
“Then And Now”
“Isandlwana”
“Unsolved”
“Mine Host”
“Upon Watts' Picture Sic
“Penance”
Transit”
“Quebec”
“Recompense”
PoemHunter.com
“Slumber Songs”
“The Anxious Dead”
“The Captain”
“The Dead Master”
“The Dying Of Pere Pierre”
“The Harvest Of The Sea”
“The Hope Of My Heart”
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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.
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Analysis of “In Flanders Fields”
John McCrae’s “In Flanders Fields,” his most popular and renowned poem, uses very
strong and vivid imagery to touch all of the senses. The poem is about the scene of the
battle at Flanders Fields in WW1 as seen through the eyes of Major John McCrae. It is
about all the men who had been living just hours or days prior to this battle, and
about how quickly their lives were taken away. In the most meaningful lines in the
poem the soldiers who have been killed pass their strength and their courage onto
every living man, and ask that those still among the living work their hardest to honor
those who are not. “The larks, still bravely singing, fly/ Scarce heard amid the guns
below,” is where McCrae begins to paint a picture with words; a picture of the larks,
noisily flying about overhead, the sound and smell of gunfire, and bullets flying
everywhere. Every person who reads it can envision their own scene of the pain, fear
and frustration of all the soldiers fighting for their beliefs. “We lived, felt dawn, saw
sunset glow,” Is another example of his amazing imagery. The men, now lying dead on
the ground surrounded by poppies, had only such a short time ago watched the sunset
and the world cool as the sun went down. In a few days, or perhaps even in a few
seconds, everything had been taken away from them. There are many reasons why
McCrae may have used imagery such as this in the poem. It allows the reader to create
a new scene of this battle every time they think about it. It also allows McCrae to
“bring his words to life” by letting the reader feel as if they were really there, and
experience what every man who fought that day had. It very strongly impacts the
poem by allowing the reader to almost literally step into the battle if only for a
moment. It grants these words, which were written on a piece of paper and discarded
by McCrae, the ability to touch any who read them. Overall, both the meaningfulness
of the words and the imagery they invoke has earned this poem the title of Canada’s
best known poem.
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I find this poem to have a lot of meaning far beyond that of the religion. It has a powerful
theme of choosing your path. The third and fourth stanzas are where this is most present.
McCrae groups people into two main groups; those who can smile and look at the bright side
and those who sit sullen in sadness all day. In the end, it seems like the people who are
positive tend to have things turn out much better. I can really agree with this as it seems
that most people you meet enjoy life more when they look at the good things rather than
the bad.
The day is past and the toilers cease;
The land grows dim 'mid the shadows grey,
And hearts are glad, for the dark brings peace
At the close of day.
Each weary toiler, with lingering pace,
As he homeward turns, with the long day done,
Looks out to the west, with the light on his face
Of the setting sun.
Yet some see not (with their sin-dimmed eyes)
The promise of rest in the fading light;
But the clouds loom dark in the angry skies
At the fall of night.
And some see only a golden sky
Where the elms their welcoming arms stretch
wide
To the calling rooks, as they homeward fly
At the eventide.
It speaks of peace that comes after strife,
Of the rest He sends to the hearts He tried,
Of the calm that follows the stormiest life --
Eventide by John McCrae
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This poem is very interesting for multiple reasons. First, it has an almost
sarcastic tone, which is rare for McCrae’s poems, and because of this it
flows extremely well to the end. I also am absolutely enthralled by the line,
“We who are great in war be great in peace,” because going along with the
sarcastic tone of the poem, this line has proven itself completely false many
times. It seems like today peace doesn’t seem to produce much for any
nation, and it is extremely short lived. The line, “No longer let us plead the
cause by might,” is also extremely meaningful, and I wish that this was the
way more of the world’s problems are solved.
Disarmament by John McCrae
One spake amid the nations, "Let us cease
From darkening with strife the fair World's light,
We who are great in war be great in peace.
No longer let us plead the cause by might."
But from a million British graves took birth
A silent voice -- the million spake as one -"If ye have righted all the wrongs of earth
Lay by the sword! Its work and ours is done."
Mine Host by John McCrae
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There stands a hostel by a travelled
way;
Life is the road and Death the worthy
host;
Each guest he greets, nor ever lacks to
say,
"How have ye fared?" They answer him,
the most,
"This lodging place is other than we
sought;
We had intended farther, but the gloom
Came on apace, and found us ere we
thought:
Yet will we lodge. Thou hast abundant
room."
Within sit haggard men that speak no
word,
No fire gleams their cheerful welcome
shed;
No voice of fellowship or strife is heard
But silence of a multitude of dead.
"Naught can I offer ye," quoth Death,
"but rest!"
And to his chamber leads each tired
guest
Click for my inspired
poem “It matters
not”
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It Matters Not by Nate Diemer
Life is the road and Death the worthy host
But Death lacks much of anything to boast
He takes those who are weak
And those who are old
And those who got hit by a car on the road
Those strong with faith
Those that care about life
Have nothing to fear
Of his endless strife
Hold strong in your heart
Do not ever let him start
For his plan is intricate
And elegant in design
But if you have will
Wit and strength
It matters not
How hard he has fought
To take from you
That which you wrought
The Anxious Dead by John McCrae
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O guns, fall silent till the dead men hear
Above their heads the legions pressing on:
(These fought their fight in time of bitter
fear,
And died not knowing how the day had
gone.)
O flashing muzzles, pause, and let them see
The coming dawn that streaks the sky afar;
Then let your mighty chorus witness be
To them, and Caesar, that we still make war.
Tell them, O guns, that we have heard their
call,
That we have sworn, and will not turn aside,
That we will onward till we win or fall,
That we will keep the faith for which they
died.
Bid them be patient, and some day, anon,
They shall feel earth enwrapt in silence
deep;
Shall greet, in wonderment, the quiet dawn,
And in content may turn them to their sleep.
Click for my inspired
poem “A Moment of
Peace”
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A Moment of Peace by Nate Diemer
O guns fall silent till the dead men hear
Their friends and enemies stop in fear
For one brief moment in the gloomy night
All men at once just stop the fight
They look left, right, and down below
They see nothing but allies dead in the snow
They lay all day staring at the sky
But at only this moment do they catch your eye
A thing such as this can never last
And is broken so fast by a single blast
But moments like this of remembrance and care
Are something so special and indeed very rare
Innocence by Nate Diemer
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We all thought life was going well
More stories
More laughter
Than I can tell
But in just a moment everything will change
Everything thought so perfect
Goes all down the drain
You’ll miss it
You’ll wish it
Back for one more day
But it never comes back
No matter what you say
Your eyes torn wide open
Your views crushed and broken
The utopia that was your world
Comes crashing down
You see the pain
Suffering
And fear all around
Keep all your strength ready
For this coming day
Grab all your beliefs
And just try to hold on
To the innocence of childhood
Or you won’t know it’s gone.
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Bemusing Dreams by Nate Diemer
Pursuing the glorious horse in the cliffs of Hyacinth
Skillfully riding a comet through the night sky
A grueling death match in a cool, clammy coliseum
Glancing upon the immortal feast in chaotic allurement
Content sleeping gently in the tide forever
Reconciling with the glorious voice
The fruits of your sleep
When you awaken you long
For the world from which you were taken
And you will never be mistaken
There is nothing more perfect
Than these bemusing dreams
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Bibliography
http://www.essortment.com/john-mccrae-biography-20733.html
http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/john_mccrae/biography
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/354049/John-McCrae
http://www.poemhunter.com
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http://tinyurl.com/3hduj44
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