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Poem Error 

Can it be true? Did the Bank of Canada get the poem wrong?

In Flanders fields, where poppies grow...

Well, I remember it that way, but the note
and the Bank of Canada, are correct (sort of).

Both lines can be considered correct. When John McCrae first penned the poem in the spring of 1915 he used "grow". When the poem was published in Punch Magazine in December of 1915 an editor (with McCrae’s permission) changed the line to read "blow" noting that "grow" was repeated in the last stanza of the poem. McCrae himself interchanged the two words in the poem over the next few years before his death in 1918. (John McCrae House, University of Guelph)

In Flanders Fields

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.

More about John McCrae at:
www.museum.guelph.on.ca/mccraejohn.htm

 

 

 

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