I was looking for some posts to share on Crocheters Anonymous Facebook this morning when I lit on Carina’s Craftblog and saw her beautiful photos of London’s Tower Poppies installation.
This massive memorial art installation entitled Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red art marks 100 years since Britain’s involvement in WWI.5
The poppies look like blood spilling over the ramparts and onto the grounds in waves of lost humanity.
The art installation will be on display at the London Tower until November 11, 2014.9
Why the Poppy?
Scarlet corn poppies (popaver rhoeas) grow naturally in conditions of disturbed earth throughout Western Europe.
The poppy was one of the only plants that grew on the scarred and barren battlefields after the World War I.2
Each poppy in this art installation represents a soldier who died.3
They’re a hauntingly beautiful reminder of the agony that crashed through the Flanders fields and rolled out into to distant homelands and over the loved ones left behind through those long, difficult, and devastating years.
In Flanders Fields
The English referred to many of the WWI battlefields of Belgium and France as the Flanders Fields. The front line of the war, called the Western Front, ran through Flanders Fields.7
John McCrae’s In Flanders Fields became the most popular and memorable poem of the war.8
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.4
Ah, art. Like music – like our crafts – it touches the depths of our humanity where such things as languages, politics, and other delimiters do not reach.
The sweetest, most poignant story I’ve ever read relevant to WWI is Rilla of Ingleside, the eighth book in the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read it over the years (well over 20).
The Making of the London Tower Poppies
See how the poppies were created:
Have you visited Carina?
I hope you’ll take a moment to visit Carina’s Craftblog. Her blog is wonderful and beautifully designed, and her work is absolutely lovely. I’m grateful to have stumbled across just one of her posts and been so inspired.
Here’s Carina’s recent book: