16 September 2011

Thimble 53 - The Red Poppy

In Ancient times the poppy was the symbol of the Greek god, Morpheus - the god of dreams, probably because opiate drugs are derived from some species of poppy. It's also a flower seen in late summer and Autumn, which leads it to being linked with the year ending and harvest.

With the dawn of Christianity the poppy moved from being a symbol of dreams and slumber to being a symbol of resting peacefully in death. Poppies grow best in soil that has been dug up and turned over, as in harvest...

...or in war or around graves.

In 1915 a young Canadian doctor, named John McCrae, was stationed in France during the war. He saw the poppies growing on battlefields of Flanders and was moved to write the beautiful poem "In Flanders Fields" ...but it was actually an American woman, named Moira Michael, who made the first pledge to wear a red poppy in honour of those who had died in the war. Her pledge is in her poem "We Shall Keep the Faith", written in 1918.

Today the red poppy is worn (usually on Nov 11 - Remembrance Day/Armistice Day) to commemorate all servicemen and women who have been killed in wars since 1914....

"Only Remembered" (Bonar/Sankey/Tams Voice Publishing) is used by permission and is taken from the album "Private Peaceful The Concert" (No Masters NMCD24, http://www.nomasters.co.uk ) by Coope Boyes & Simpson (http://www.coopeboyesandsimpson.co.uk )..


  1. Gemel
    That song was also used for the stage show "war horse". I was watching the documentary on the making of the horse puppet and show. Amazing work and such a heart wrending war story. The animals of war feature in three of my thimbles here. (two still to come!) ;-)


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Can one everyday person really make a difference and change the world? Isn't that a bit like trying to empty the ocean with a thimble?

Maybe... but what if you got everyone to help you?
What if we bailed with a billion thimbles?

These are my Thimblefuls for Peace... I hope they make you think.