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Courage of Youth, Battle of Ypres, Flanders Field
Tough as nails young man with a red right hand
red-fire and whiskey ran in his blood.
Courageous seed of vast and cold hard land
quick temper, power of a surging flood.
Seeker of life, its promised mysteries
rash gambler with all he would ever own.
Born on ship in high wind swept, roaring seas
toughest warrior his town had ever grown.
Met his fate by volley of red-hot lead
buried on ground scared and battle blasted.
Aye boys, fodder that machine guns were fed
fools marching to death, long as it lasted.
Now flowers cover up and Time denies
scenes of battle torn soil and blood-red skies.
April 23rd, 1975
SONNET-(DEATH AND WAR'S FUTILITY)
Tribute to Courage of Youth-- Second Battle of Ypres, April 22nd 1915 .
Note- added - 8-26-2017
The name Flanders Fields is particularly associated with battles that took place in the Ypres Salient, including the Second Battle of Ypres and the Battle of Passchendaele. For most of the war, the front line ran continuously from south of Zeebrugge on the Belgian coast, across Flanders Fields into the centre of Northern France before moving eastwards — and it was known as the Western Front.
The phrase originates from a poem titled In Flanders Fields by Canadian Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, inspired by his service during the Second Battle of Ypres. The fields were not maintained for years before they were made into a memorial. Today Flanders Fields is home to thousands of poppies.
Found this while rummaging through some of my old poems. Decided not to edit it. Leave it as it was composed over 42 years ago..
Added the note for those not familiar with that battle and its horrific carnage, primarily from the insanity of large bodies of troops marching into direct machine gun fire.
This poem was selected and requested for teaching purposes at Cambridge University. Permission was granted for educational use.... RJL
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