Anchored just off the Coast of Reality
IF I should die, think only this of me: That there's some corner of a foreign fieldThat is forever England. There shall be In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,A body of England's, breathing English air, Washed by the rivers, blest by the suns of home.And think, this heart, all evil shed away, A pulse in the eternal mind, no less Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day; And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness, In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.
Tears come easier to me now that I see that the lost generations were such young men, now that my privileged life is coming to a close.
Have you seen the Tower Poppies, WoaR? It's a breathtaking sight. Puts most modern 'art' to shame.
Yes, that was where I took the picture which is part of the Wave installation over the gateway. I went in late September where the poppies were 'flowing' in to the moat. I knew the installation was going to work - one can never be absolutely sure with these things - when the installation began. Some of the ceramic poppies were unavoidably broken and the volunteers were crying. I also visited a small installation made of knitted and crocheted poppies with specific name tags applied. Because each flower is slightly different, the cummulative effect was to emphasise the commonality but the uniqueness of each person. Today (11/11) I visited a market town Remembrance and I was pleased that the primary school sent a delegation of children. They behaved beautifully. One so easily forgets that actually, the majority of children are delightful and are a credit to their schools and families.
It's a great photo - I took a few with my iPhone every time I visited, and have made sure I downloaded them, as they show a lot of the gradual 'filling' of the moat. I attended a 'Last Post' as well. I'm glad I did, even though very crowded, it was an incredibly humbling moment.The crowds were peculiarly good-natured and respectful.
The Great War facinates me. It belongs to a different time when folk actually believed in King, country and God. For the middle and upper classes, anyway. It is difficult to understand how people endured, mainly because the 'mind set' was not modern. The irony, of course, is that the Great War shaped the modern world and is directly responsible for how educated people perceive the world of today. Kitchener, Haig, the Kaiser and Luddendorf would be totally lost in the modern landscape, yet they helped build it.
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