Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Lest We Forget

6 comments:

The Beaver said...

Great and cool Simon. You posted exactly at 11:00 AM
I have been wearing my poppy since last WE. Usually I buy it on Nov 1st but I got busy with some other things and, living in the burbs, it is only at the shopping malls or supermarkets that the veterans run their booths.

chm said...

Hi Susan & Simon,
Your blog has always been good but has improved tremendously since the early days. Every post is very interesting in its own right. The pictures are gorgeous and uncommon.

What is the connection between Armistice Day and poppies? We don't seem to have that symbol in France.
In spring time, during the Occupation, we used to wear a daisy, a cornflower and a poppy on our lapels.

Susan said...

Bisous C-H, you are such a nice person (and I am guiltily aware that I should PM you and keep in touch properly).

I too was curious as to the connection between poppies and Armistice Day, especially given that poppies do not flower in November, so a few years ago I did some reading on the subject.

Poppies have been used as a symbol of the cycle of death and rebirth since Egyptian times and in many cultures all over the world since then. The symbolism is fed by their blood red colour and the fact that they appear en masse on any disturbed or waste ground (e.g. battle fields) and will continue to appear year after year. They seem to be culturally embedded as a symbol of rememberance (which is closely linked to old ideas of death and rebirth). I am surprised to hear they are not used in that way in France, but perhaps being a good red colour has led to them being 'subverted' for use in the floral tricolor. Box (buis) seems to be the plant associated with rememberance in France, I think.

The Beaver said...

chm

Bonjour
some more info here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remembrance_Day

If you go down to the "poppies" heading you will have an explanation on why and how it came to be used.

chm said...

Thank you TB for the link. You learn something new every day!
I don't know how it is in Canada, but here, in the US, except in two occasions did I see poppies in the fields as we do in France and probably Europe.

Thank you Susan for your kind words. I didn't know, either, the tradition of poppies goes as far back as the Egyptians. Wow!

Simon said...

chm,

I always thought the Egyptians used the poppy more for forgetting than remembering!

Thanks for your comments about the blog. It started as a newsletter for our families in Australia, and has just growed and growed.

I'm glad people like the photos, we take a lot of care with them. Gallingly, of course, the best ones are the photos that just take themselves