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Poetry in Translation (CV): Lt.-Col. Med. Dr. John Alexander MCCRAE (Canada) – In Flanders Fields; Pe-al Flandrei Câmp

June 2nd, 2012 · 2 Comments · International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

PE-AL FLANDREI CÂMP
[ Lt.-Col. Dr. John Alexander McCrae (1872-1918), Canada ]

Pe-al Flandrei câmp, maci înfloresc
Plecându-şi capul printre cruci,
Sub care fraţii nostri zac, sub ceruri
Unde-aud, deabea, un vajnic cânt de ciocârlii,
Prin bubuit de tunuri, nefiresc.

Noi suntem morţii, care nu demult
Ne bucuram de soarele din cer.
Iubeam şi eram mult-iubiţi, dar astăzi zacem amorţiţi,
Pe-al Flandrei câmp.

Luaţi mai departe facla dela noi:
Din braţul care cade, luaţi-o sus
Să puneţi capăt greului război.
De veţi cădea în luptă, n-om putea
Să mai dormim, dar macii roşii-n veci vor înflori
Pe-al Flandrei câmp.

Versiune in limba Română
Constantin ROMAN
Londra, 3 Iunie 2012
© Constantin Roman, London, 2012

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, May 1915

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.

Historical Background:
During the early days of the Second Battle of Ypres a young Canadian artillery officer, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed on 2nd May, 1915 in the gun positions near Ypres. An exploding German artillery shell landed near him. He was serving in the same Canadian artillery unit as a friend of his, the Canadian military doctor and artillery commander Major John McCrae.
As the brigade doctor, John McCrae was asked to conduct the burial service for Alexis because the chaplain had been called away somewhere else on duty that evening. It is believed that later that evening, after the burial, John began the draft for his now famous poem “In Flanders Fields”.

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