Talk:In Flanders Fields

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Discussion started Oct 2003[edit]

Duplicate pages: this and In Flanders Fields (poem).

Charles Matthews 16:28, 4 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Not any more. Ellsworth 21:16, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Does anyone know if there's an "official" german translation of the text or the title? I couldn't find anything about this in the german wikipedia...

  • Completely against merging into Flanders Field. This poem is more than famous and notable enough for its own article, at least in Canada. It's often recited on Remembrance Day. heqs 19:06, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

And in the UK --ARBAY (talk) 14:26, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

And in the US as well - certainly prior to the turn of this century, there were relatively few US schoolchildren who did not learn this poem by heart in the fourth or fifth grade. It, together with Kilmer's Rouge Bouquet, are standard fare of Veterans Day observances in the US. Irish Melkite (talk) 10:32, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

In the process of improving the layout of this discussion page, I added a section heading to this discussion - Boyd Reimer (talk) 12:39, 27 December 2010 (UTC)


Placed by an admitted UNencyclodidiot to cause disruption. The 2 artciles are not in any way similar as 1 is about a poem written in 1915 and the other is about an American cemetary. Since the U.S. did not enter the war until 1917, the poem was not not inspired by any U.S. casulties. Fair Deal 19:47, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

In Flanders' Fields?[edit]

Shouldn't the poem be spelled in Flanders' Fields, since it is about the fields of Flanders?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Leorge W Belch (talkcontribs)

No. The location he wrote about is called "Flanders Field", without an apostrophe. Additionally, being an artistic work, the poet named it as he saw fit. --Ds13 21:10, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
No, no :)) The poem is called 'In Flanders Fields (no apostrophe and a plural). And, yes, the poet can call the poem whatever he likes. Roger 12:05, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
The answer is no, but the real reason is that, in English, a proper noun may be used adjectivally. For example, a tourist could correctly say: "I had some bad experiences on Brussels buses." As another example, I might compile a list of California governors. Often, we even stretch the rule by applying it to common nouns, as in "women Wikipedians" -- though this is deprecated in formal writing. Arena Alba (talk) 18:03, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
To be strictly accurate, I should add that McCrae could properly have chosen to use an apostrophe, denoting the possessive, but he chose, equally properly, not to do so, and we must respect his preference. Note that there is a subtle difference, in meaning and in mood, between the two. Poetically and evocatively, I think McCrae made the right choice. The alternative would not have been absolutely dreadful. But it would not have been as effective, IMO. Arena Alba (talk) 19:29, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Historic Moment[edit]

Anyone object to the addition of a link to the historic/dramatic recreation that was broadcast in Canada over the last several years? It featured Colm Feore as John McCrae.

"Near-Mythical Status in Canada"?[edit]

I'm not sure the term "near-mythical status" in Canada is accurate. It's a widely known and respected poem, but "mythical"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:00, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Fussell criticism?[edit]

Anyone else think this criticism is out of place in this article? Maybe a separate criticism section? I haven't run across any other criticisms in the introductory paragraph of any other poem article.

I'm not sure I appreciate the criticism, I think it is out of place. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sixer Fixer (talkcontribs) 01:32, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree. It seems outrageous for the article's discussion section to conclude with some random critic calling even part of the poem stupid and vicious. Someone clearly has an ax to grind here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:09, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Hurts me too, having grown up with such a poem. And after much thought I don't think Fussell is right. Too literal an interpretation. However, he is an important WWI critic, and he got me thinking. Leave it in. (talk) 13:37, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

I think "vicious and stupid" goes a bit far, bearing in mind when it was written, but "Take up our quarrel with the foe" is a hard sentiment to stomach now that we can look back on the First World War as a ghastly mistake - the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand [like September 11] was a crime, not an act of war - that led to catastrophe after catastrophe (Versailles, Hitler, WW2, and arguably the Cold War [Afghanistan, Iraq]). What I was wondering is, has anyone written an alternative line, and if so, is it ever used at remembrance services? After all, it's a poem that is read today to reach today's audience, not holy writ or a recruitment drive. The "Your Country Needs You!" poster, whether of Kitchener or Uncle Sam, has been endlessly modified to meet contemporary needs. --Hugh7 (talk) 08:45, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Paul Fussell is hardly a "random critic." He is a combat veteran of WW2, and probably the foremost editor of war-related literature. For instance, he was asked by Norton to edit "The Norton Book of Modern Warfare," a collection of literature written largely by those who have first-hand experience of combat. So, while this does not make it appropriate to cite criticism in this section, it still could be said that if one critic were to be cited, it ought to be Fussell.

Also, Norton calls Fussell a "literary historian," rather than an "historian." His PhD training was in English literature, he was a member of several English departments, and never trained as an historian, nor a member of any history department. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:49, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Response poems[edit]

I removed "For the Fallen" from this section, since it was in fact published the year before.--Rallette 11:30, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Apart from the fact that they are both set in Flanders, I can not see any connection between this poem and Jaques Brel's "Marieke" (which is a love song in which no war is mentioned). Unless somebody can show how they are connected, this claim should be removed. 19:02, 14 June 2007 (UTC)


I've added a photo I took at Eilean Donan castle - the seat of Clan MacRae - listing the dead from the clan in WWI and featuring (of course) a quote from In Flanders Fields. I just wish my camera had more resolution - a bit crisper and the names of the dead would be legible, not just the quote. Adam Cuerden talk 00:06, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

References in popular culture[edit]

As someone noted under "Response poems", the song "Marieke" by Jacques Brel, was written in french and flemish, and did not reference "In Flanders Fields" apart from the setting. But there is a musical "Jacques Brel is alive and well and living in Paris" [1], for which I found that Mort Shuman translated the songs into english [2]. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ghp (talkcontribs) 13:00, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Punch Pulication Date[edit]

Just saying that the date of December 7 is definetly wrong. I was at my local reference library researching this poem and I looked up the orinial periodical. The date published is definetly December 8th. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:15, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

What species of poppies??[edit]

what species of poppies grew in the battlefields?--Sonjaaa (talk) 22:24, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Papaver rhoeas, the corn poppy. Mahousu (talk) 21:58, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Correct, Papaver rhoeas, known (but only in some countries) as the corn poppy! I would also like to add that the poppies did not just grow in profusion in the battlefields because that was a geographical area where they grow. The poppy grows in profusion where the ground has been disturbed (e.g. where the fields have been recently ploughed or - as in this case - where the ground was disturbed by bombardment of war). (talk) 00:12, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

yes, this is defenityl correct as i checked and i am a librarian. :-) lolz ... ly xxxxxxxxxxxx —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:18, 10 January 2009 (UTC)


Would anyone disagree if this page was restructured ie with a criticisms and explanation section section?--ARBAY (talk) 14:31, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Here is my Restructured version [Restructured] (ARBAY (talk) 15:24, 5 June 2008 (UTC))

Does anybody have an opinion ARBAY (talk) 07:06, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Go for it; yours is definitely better. Mahousu (talk) 18:24, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Add something about French version so different and different meaning?[edit]

I looked at the French version, and it seems that it has a different context, meaning and leel of power. I think we should somehow mention this, but I am not good at writing Wiki.

With the field d' honor, the poppies are strewn with batch in batch Near the crosses; and in l' space the become larks weary Their songs mix with the whistle Howitzers. We died, We who thought the day before encor' With our parents, our friends, C' is we who rest here, With the field d' honor. With you young people disillusioned, With you to carry l' streamer And to keep at the bottom of l' heart taste of living in freedom. Accept the challenge, if not The poppies will fade With the field d' honor.

That's the French version translated on Babelfish. (how do I link this to Babekfish???)

Tangmeisterjr (talk) 15:15, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Babelfish is sometimes of limited value to give a general idea of the meaning of a foreign text, but the above "translation" is laughable. I suppose it might be appropriate to include something more about Au champ d'honneur, either as part of the In Flanders Fields article, or else as a separate article in the English Wikipedia. In any case, though, a translation into English would need to be done by someone who really knows French — don't anyone dare copy (or link to) this chunk of Babelfish barf. Richwales (talk) 19:47, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Charles Ives[edit]

Charles Ives composed a song of In Flanders Fields (premiered in 1917). Maybe other composers did likewise. Should this be added into the Popular Culture section or elsewhere? Glatisant (talk) 18:49, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Date of the 'Reply' Poem by Moina Michael[edit]

We Shall Keep the Faith[edit]

Slight date discrepancy 1915 (in current article) or 1918?? ("We Shall Keep the Faith" article)

"On Nov. 9, 1918--two days before the armistice was signed ending World War I--Michael was reading the Ladies Home Journal and saw a poem entitled "We Shall Not Sleep" (which was later called "In Flanders Fields") written by Col. John McCrae...Moved by what she read, Michael took a pen and wrote the following poem in response"
Ref: Digital Library of Georgia/University of Georgia[3] Which is this articles ref #3

Other on-line sources of the poem make no specific mention of the date it was written. Official Ozzie Army site [4]
The Moina Michael article makes NO reference to the date of writing.

This site has several 'reply' poems [5] if anyones interested. -- (talk) 05:14, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Blow or Grow?[edit]

Do the poppies blow or grow in the fields? The image clearly shows 'grow' but so many other quality sources state 'blow'; not to mention the edit war that has been going on here. What is the authority we should ultimately rely on? Alandeus (talk) 07:45, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

There's a note in the article about the image: 'The use of "grow" in the first line appears in a handwritten and autographed copy for the 1919 edition of McCrae's poems; the editor, Andrew Macphail, notes in the caption, "This was probably written from memory as "grow" is used in place of "blow" in the first line."' --Ibn (talk) 07:59, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
True, the Great War site, which is referred to in the reference section, contains an account of the writing of the poem and why blow was used as well as a facsimile of the author's 1915 manuscript wherein blow is the preferred verb. Alandeus (talk) 09:52, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
This is dated 8 Dec 1915, whereas the version held by the Imperial War Museum claims a date of 29 April 1915 and uses the word 'grow'. 'grow' is thought by some to be the original choice of word with 'blow' being chosen for the publication version months later. JCummings (talk) 11:04, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
The accepted wording today is "blow". IMO, it is inappropriate for us to showcase a version of the poem that uses "grow" instead of "blow". If necessary, a different source needs to be cited which uses the currently accepted wording. Richwales (talk · contribs) 15:08, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
We select the source to fit the notion "currently accepted wording"? Both were used in early printings, that is the fact, there is no final authorised manuscript to 'prove' otherwise. The carefully worded, and cited, sentence leading into the verbatim text gives one of the options. This diff was not undoing 'apparent vandalism"!, to reduce the tedium and accusations I'm providing this link to the transcript s:In Flanders Fields and Other Poems/In Flanders Fields. Cygnis insignis (talk) 15:38, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I recognize there is a risk in cases like this of editorializing by picking and choosing sources. However, if we try to argue here that the "authentic" version of the text uses "grow", then (at the very least) this article will be perceived as "just plain wrong" and will never stop attracting new editors who will insist on "fixing" it. I would be content with an article that quotes the entire poem using the currently accepted "blow" wording (sourced from places such as web sites of governments and/or veterans' organizations), followed by much discussion over how several early sources strongly suggest that McCrae's original poem used "grow". But doing it the other way around, IMO, risks running afoul of WP:UNDUE or even WP:FRINGE.
I realize, BTW, that there is a fine line between "in determining proper weight, we consider a viewpoint's prevalence in reliable sources, not its prevalence among Wikipedia editors or the general public" on the one hand, and "if you are able to prove something that few or none currently believe, Wikipedia is not the place to première such a proof" on the other hand (both quoted from WP:UNDUE). Richwales (talk · contribs) 17:13, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I see that blow was reinstated in the first line of the text. I revised the explanation before the poem to say that this is the accepted version — with cites to online sources by the Royal Canadian Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars containing the text with blow in the first line — and I moved the Macphail source to be after the poem, with a comment that some early version of the poem used grow instead of blow. Richwales (talk · contribs) 02:17, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

I gave what was in the source, the variation is actually discussed in the work, the first and closest thing to an authorised printing of the poem. I haven't stated anything, or asserted which is 'correct' or 'accepted' if that is actually possible. This removed information, the early printings had that as the incipit. I found a fact during transcription, there was nothing better in the article except conjecture and assertions to the contrary. Please read the links you provided, what you have done is construct a synthesis to support the notion that "The accepted version of the poem, as used in Canada[5] and the United States,[6] is as follows:". That is not a fact given in either of those sources. Cygnis insignis (talk) 18:56, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Fair criticisms. I've reworked the material somewhat in a way which will hopefully satisfy both of our concerns. Note that in order to justify quoting a version here with blow, it is necessary to cite the poem as typeset in the book — not the autograph copy (which unarguably uses grow — albeit presumably because McCrae wrote it from memory, as mentioned at the bottom of the page). I also tweaked the indentation of the text to match the typeset version of the poem in this book. Richwales (talk · contribs) 23:12, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Umm, thanks, not the reaction I'm used to receiving. This seems neutral and more informative; it repeats what the editor said further on, but this is no bad thing if it is controversial. If it can't be used to settle an argument in a pub, yea or nay, we have probably got it just right. Cygnis insignis (talk) 05:08, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
I think it might be useful simply to document that because of this difference most school children for decades in Canada grew up being taught the poem as having 'grow'. I.e. at the end of the sentence which currently reads "The truth of whether McCrae originally wrote 'grow' or 'blow' in the first line will most likely never clearly be established." Maybe adding something like "Many people, notably Canadian schoolchildren, are taught the version of the poem with 'grow' in the first line as the original." ? Since I didn't have a source to back this up (other than personal experience, and conversations with about 15 Canadians of different ages and from different locations in Canada) I didn't want to add it straight away. Thoughts? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jcummings (talkcontribs) 17:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Just a note, I'm another Canadian schoolchild who learned this with "grow". Anecdotal evidence yet again, however enough evidence of this sort and it becomes notable (not necessarily in the way Wiki uses the term, first time edit here) in terms of deserving mention. Is there a policy regarding this? Collect enough Canadians who remember learning it that way and.... <fill in the blank>. Cbentsen (talk) 18:32, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
Though this isn't a good source, since I can't find it online right now, I recall the "A Part of our Heritage" commercial, which showed the writer first thinking "grow", and crossing it out in favour of "blow." I learned it in school as "blow", and my teacher explained the common error to us. (talk) 18:17, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

Date of Composition Wrong[edit]

The article claims that the date of composition was 3 May 1915, but the tracing held by the Imperial War Museum and available in the great war archive claims a date of 29 April 1915 for the date of composition. This would make the memorial wrong as well, of course, as it says 3 May. See for a photo of that (CC licensed, maybe use in article?) Since it seems to be unclear I suggest that the article say that the date of composition is 'around 29 April 1915' or maybe document the controversy JCummings (talk) 11:04, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

Waiting time to remove unsourced content[edit]

The Wikipedia documentation on How to respond to a tag of "citation needed" contains this quote: "... most editors are willing to wait about a month to see whether a citation can be provided." The date of one tag was May 2010, which is now well beyond the waiting time to remove unsourced content. - Boyd Reimer (talk) 12:53, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Suggestion: "Category:Belgium in fiction"[edit]

Since this poem is set in Flanders I would suggest to add the category "Belgium in fiction". "In Flanders Fields" has become such a staple of World War I popular culture that the poem increased the fame of Flanders' fields outside the Belgian borders. I'm well aware that World War I isn't fiction, but poems aren't classified as "non-fiction": they are fiction. Compare this to several books and films about World War I like "All Quiet On The Western Front" or "Paths Of Glory" which are also considered to be "fiction", even though the stories take place during a real life event. And even though "In Flanders Fields" describes genuine loss and sadness about the brutal reality of war it is still a romanticized version of the real horrors, due to its poetic language. Since other cultural works with Belgium as it's setting are listed in "Category:Belgium in fiction" I feel "In Flanders Fields" should be included. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:25, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Well that stirred up a heated debate! Oh well. Thanks for raising it and for your tolerance. For the record, I still don't quite like this category - I find it impossible to see how it quite works to categorize it as fiction despite your sensible arguments. If we had a category for "Belgium in literature" or "Belgium in poetry" then, obviously, I'd be quite happy with one of those. Tell you what though - if you add it, and I don't like it - no-one will die! I won't revert it again. No-one will suddenly become unable to find the work, millions of schoolchildren will not fail their exams, the war will not break out again - you and I will not even have a fist fight over it! So I think I would suggest you just ignore my grumbling, re-instate your category, and see what happens. We may or may not hear if anyone else likes it, or doesn't, or whatever ... but in the meantime the Internet will probably not break. Thanks again for your civilized approach to this. Happy editing! Cheers DBaK (talk) 13:36, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

In popular culture / Montreal Canadiens[edit]

I believe the quote from the poem on the wall of the Montreal Canadiens' dressing room is relevant to this article. This factoid was originally part of a section named "In popular culture", but that section was removed several months ago. Comments? Richwales (talk) 15:50, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Agree. It's relevant but needs to be cited. BC  talk to me 16:03, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
It was removed because it was mostly unsourced and as as per Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Trivia sections. Can you explain why its relevant - its quoted everywhere. Are the Montreal Canadian in some way affiliated with the poem or is it that just use it. Perhaps mention in the Montreal Canadian article - but to mention it here seems there is a special reason they do so and non is given. Just trivia not for an encyclopedia - the same thing is written on the walls Ottawa and Toronto city hall- they use the poem at minor hockey games and play it in malls during this time -get my meaning...why is this one relevant??Moxy (talk) 16:07, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:In Flanders Fields/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Carcharoth (talk · contribs) 09:09, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Have read through the article and am currently reviewing it. It looks good so far. I should have some specific comments and a GA checklist ready for posting later today after I've looked at the article again in more detail. Carcharoth (talk) 09:09, 24 February 2012 (UTC) Am now aiming to post my review by tonight instead. Sorry about the delay. Carcharoth (talk) 11:35, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

A couple of comments here as I go through the article, followed by a GA checklist:

  • The version of the article I am reviewing is 24 February 2012.
  • The recent work on the article in February 2012 can be seen here.
  • The version before that recent work is 14 December 2011
  • On the current version of the talk page, there is a comment here from 2010 (link is to a static version of the talk page) that points out a source that claims an earlier date of composition (29 April). The May date seems established by the sources, but I thought it was worth pointing this out, and it might be worth responding on the talk page.
  • "his father was a military leader Guelph" - seems to be a missing word there?
  • "the German army unleashed" - is the word 'unleashed' drifting away from an encyclopedic tone?
    In this case, I think it is accurate. Chemical weapons at the time had little control. In this case, they would have released the gas and let the winds carry it. That said, I have reworded to "launched one of the first attacks", which may be equally accurate. Resolute 17:53, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
  • The quote from McCrae about the battle is almost certainly from letters he wrote at the time. It might be worth making that clear if your source confirms this, or confirming from other sources if your source is silent on this.
  • A detail not included here is that Helmer's grave (or at least its identity) was lost in subsequent fighting, as he is commemorated on the Menin Gate memorial. My source for that is the McCrae chapter in 'Poets of the Great War' (1996) by the Holts - I have a copy of the 199 edition. The Helmer memorial details can be confirmed on the CWGC website.
    Is this important to note on an article about the poem? I don't have access to that book, so if it has details you feel are important, I would appreciate it if you could add them. Resolute 17:53, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
  • "As with many of the most popular works of the first world war" - First World War should be capitalised.
  • The inclusion of the 1975 criticism from Fussell is valid (as that is a seminal work in literary criticism of WWI poetry ). What I was wondering is whether there is a need to include a quote on contemporary reaction to the work before bringing in the reaction of Fussell writing in the 1970s? Also, the inclusion of Fussell's criticism seems misplaced, as you bring this in and then return to detailing the publication history in the next section.
    My use of that passage was intended to reflect themes of the poem, but you are right. I should move the criticism lower. Resolute 17:53, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
    Though I have to admit to being a little unsure of what works best were in this regard. Any thoughts? Resolute 18:26, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
    It works OK there for now. To move it, you really need to bring in other criticism. If I get time, I may suggest or dig through some sources. Carcharoth (talk) 18:34, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
  • "While delivering the brigade's mail, Cyril Allinson" - who is this Cyril Allinson you suddenly introduce? It would be good to say who they and Morrison and Elder are (Canadian soldiers) and whether they are part of McCrae's unit.
  • "claimed that the Helmer's funeral" - remove the word 'the'?
  • The account of the blow/grow debate is excellent, and should really help avoid instability and edit warring over that.
  • The source I mentioned above cites the Chinese translation quip to a comment he made to his mother (again, presumably in a letter).
    The source I used says only that he "remarked" on the translations. It does not mention if the comment was made in a letter. If your source specifies that this was the case, I would again appreciate if you could add the note and change the citation. Resolute 17:53, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Should the anonymous bit be mentioned when you mention its publication in Punch? Do you know the first non-anonymous publication? Can you give any specific examples (i.e. book or newspaper names) of these "republications throughout the world"?
    Relocated the anonymous bit. I can't answer for certain the first non-anonymous publication, but I added that Punch credited McCrae in its index at the end of the year, so authorship would have been revealed inside a few weeks. I have no specific examples as of yet, but will try to find some (if possible) ahead of a FA run. Resolute 17:53, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
  • This quote: "make this Dominion persevere in the duty of fighting for the world's ultimate peace than all the political speeches of the recent campaign" - who said that and where? A direct citation is needed at the end.
  • In the McCrae quote, does 'Fr. Canadian' mean French Canadian? It may not be immediately clear to all readers, so maybe a footnote glossing the abbreviation is needed, or an editorial insert such as '[French]' to replace or follow 'Fr.'?
    I was hoping that the context of the paragraph would have explained that, but if you're not sure, then you are correct that other readers may not be as well. I've added the editorial note. Resolute 17:53, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
  • The last paragraph of the 'Popularity' section covers the UK and USA, but the second sentence (about quotes, war bonds, recruiting efforts, and as a tool of criticism) doesn't say which country you are referring to. Was it all anglophone countries fighting in the war, just those two, or just one of them?
    I'm not a fan of the wording, but I noted that it was used "in many places". The sources I have are not more specific than that, though it is clear from the overall reaction that the poem resonated throughout the English speaking world. Resolute 17:53, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Do your sources say anything about reaction in the other anglophone Empire countries? Australia, New Zealand, South Africa?
    I am still searching for such reaction. It was something I already identified as wanting to find ahead of an FA run. Resolute 17:53, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
  • This bit may be wrong: "After three years on the front lines, McCrae was moved to the medical corps and stationed in Boulogne, France" - the Holt source I have says he was moved to the Canadian Medical Corps in June 1915, so the "three years on the front lines" bit seems to be wrong.
    <wincing> No, you're not wrong. I misinterpreted the timeline in my source. Corrected. Resolute 17:53, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
    I thought it must have been something like that. Though are you sure about this new bit: "he took command of the Number 3 Canadian General Hospital"? The sources I'm looking at only say that he was "promoted to lieutenant colonel in charge of medicine" and that it was the promotion to being in overall charge of the hospital that he failed to get just before his death (but he did get the 'consulting physician to the First British Army' bit, which sounds impressive but was unfortunately overtaken by events). The whole stuff with his rank and military titles confuses me - he was initially major with title of brigade surgeon. Anyway, only small amounts of this context needs to be mentioned in passing, but if it is mentioned it needs to be accurate. Carcharoth (talk) 18:34, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
  • An additional detail (again, I'm getting this from Holt) is that McCrae had asthma and was hospitalised with this in 1916. It also says that he was "severely depressed" and had again been subject to asthma attacks just prior to his death. It might be too much detail for this article (I may add it to the article on McCrae, including a quote from Harvey Cushing), but I thought it worth mentioning here.
    Prescott and Bassett both make mention as well. I felt it was too much personal detail on McCrae for this article though. Resolute 17:53, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
  • On McCrae's funeral, the Holt book I mentioned above says that it was an "impressive funeral with full military honours". Might be worth including.
  • "named after the poem and is devoted to the First World War" - the word 'is' should be removed here (I'll do these minor copyedits, just noting them here for completeness).
  • The Holt source I have refers to the Moina Michael poem as 'The Victory Emblem'. Is the title and poem history simplified here?
    I can't say, actually. Certainly our own article on it calls it "We Shall Keep the Faith". Perhaps that was an original or working title that has since fallen into disuse? Resolute 17:53, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
  • You introduce 'Madame E. Guérin' without saying who she is. Holt says she was 'French Secretary' at the 1920 convention you mention (presumably a meeting of the American Legion attended by overseas representatives?).
    Seems the sources I have (including Veterans Affairs Canada) simply refer to her as a "French woman". As with above, if you could cite that to Holt, it would be appreciated.
  • Ending the article on the remembrance poppy doesn't feel quite right. I'd end with something on the poem's place and use in the modern era. For example, the poem was used in some recent British Legion mailings that I received, and the poem continues to be used widely in charity and commemoration literature, though finding a source that says that might be more difficult.
    Hmm. I am a little divided. I see your point, but at the same time, I think the remembrance poppy is (at least in Canada) the most visible modern legacy of the poem. I'll have to do some searching. Resolute 17:53, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

OK, those are the comments I have on reading through the article. Not all of them need to be addressed for GA status, but may be useful for later work. I'll now run through the GA checklist and post that below. Carcharoth (talk) 10:04, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

  • (1) Well-written - pass
    (a) The prose is clear and concise. Apart from a few minor copyedits (now done), the spelling and grammar look fine.
    (b) The lead could possibly be expanded slightly, but is a good summary. The layout and other manual of style aspects also look OK.
  • (2) Factually accurate and verifiable - pass
    (a) Referencing formatting and use looks good.
    (b) One quote not directly referenced, but am confident that can be easily fixed. I have no concerns about the reliability of the sources. One slight mis-step in the 'After three years' bit, but everything else looks fine.
    (c) No concerns about original research, all opinions and conclusions are adequately sourced.
  • (3) Broad in its coverage - pass
    (a) The article covers the main aspects of this topic (coverage could be extended a bit, but that can come later).
    (b) The article's focus is fine, and background context is provided. Some of the detail could be reduced or expanded, but that is a stylistic matter.
  • (4) Neutral - pass
    I'm happy to pass the article on this criterion, as there are a variety of sources used here. Only minor criticism is the lack of direct quotes on contemporary reaction to the poem, as opposed to the direct quotes for the 1970s criticism, but this doesn't massively affect the balance as it is clear the poem was very popular at the time of publication, and this aspect is easily addressed post-GA.
  • (5) Stable - pass
    Noting here the excellent handling of the grow/blow matter, which provoked some instability here in the past.
  • (6) Illustrated, if possible, by images - pass
    (a) The images used in this version of the article are fine in terms of copyright. File:In Flanders fields and other poems, handwritten.png has a warning sign asking for a US-specific PD tag. File:In Flanders Fields (1921) page 1.png has similar tags.
    (b) Images used here are good, with images relevant to the sections they are in. One quibble I would have is it would improve the article to give the date in the captions for the images (where known), such as the date the book memorial was erected, the date the McCrae image was taken (or even just whether it is a WWI-era photo), the date of the Clegg page, the date of the war bonds poster, and possibly saying that the poppy in the lead image has been added to the memorial for the photo (i.e. not part of the memorial).
  • Additional thoughts: The opening 'rondeau' comment should be mentioned in the main body of the article and referenced there. See also the initial comments above (before the GA checklist).
  • Summary: Minor stuff needs fixing (of the more detailed comments above, the most urgent would be a direct citation for the "Dominion persevere" quote, plus correcting the 'After three years' bit), but overall I'm happy to say this article passes the GA criteria. I'll sort out the paperwork this evening after reading through the article one more time. Carcharoth (talk) 11:08, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
    I very much appreciate this review, especially its thoroughness as I would like to see this become a featured article. I should have addressed all of your comments above, and certainly appreciate any further changes or additions you feel are beneficial. Thanks, Resolute 17:53, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
    No problem. I'd like to help with some suggestions post-GA. Given the responses and changes above, I'm happy passing this for GA, and I'll do that now. Any more work needed can be done in the run-up to FA, though I do think you may need to cast the net a lot wider - a run past MILHIST A-Class review to see if they can pick up any military terminology problems may help, and I'd definitely suggest posting to WWI, poetry and literary WikiProjects to see if they can help (or look at similar articles that went through FAC successfully). Carcharoth (talk) 18:40, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
    Appreciate the suggestions. Milhist was one I was always planning to talk to before a FA run - especially since the project is large enough that some there will hopefully find some of those non Canada/US/Great Britain responses to it. But first, a bit of a break. Thanks for the review, and the pass! Resolute 21:57, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Blow vs. grow — again[edit]

There is ample evidence that both "blow" and "grow" have been commonly used from time to time in the first line of the poem — and I believe we need to illustrate this fact in order to maintain a neutral point of view in the article. To that end, I've restored the typeset version of the poem from the 1919 book In Flanders Fields and Other Poems, in which the word "blow" is used in the first line. In my view, this image should appear in addition to the existing handwritten version of the poem in the same book (which uses "grow"). I have also edited the caption under the handwritten version to more explicitly call out the discrepancy. The typeset version was in the article long ago, but it was removed, apparently in the (misguided, IMO) belief that it was redundant. Given the very real controversy over which version of the text is "correct", "original", or whatever, I believe that including both the typeset and autograph versions of the text from the same book is important as a means of giving proper coverage of both sides of the issue (as required by the NPOV policy). — Richwales (no relation to Jimbo) 18:58, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Honestly, I find your argument that we need to include this image to "maintain neutral point of view" to be completely absurd. The text of the poem is taken from the same book and specifically includes "blow", standing in contrast to the handwritten image beside that uses "grow". You have, in fact, added an image that simply duplicates the text, therefore offers nothing of value to the article. Especially given there really isn't space for yet another image. There is also a full paragraph dedicated to the dispute in the publication section. There is no "point of view" issue here because one person didn't read that paragraph properly and put a misplaced comment into it. Resolute 19:53, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
With respect, I do believe NPOV applies here. The fact that many editors have independently come along from time to time and "corrected" the text of the article to say "grow" instead of "blow" suggests strongly (IMO) that there is a legitimate dispute as to which version ought to be given prominence, and/or an honest misunderstanding or difference of opinion regarding the significance of the handwritten image. As long as the text (with "blow") is presented next to an image saying "grow", this issue will be confusing to readers and will continue to generate editing disputes, regardless of what the caption on the image says. Instead of suggesting that one version or the other is preferred (which, to me, is what is happening if we have an autograph copy of the poem without also showing an image of the typeset page), we should put both sides of the argument in their proper context.
I made another change just now, in which I added a footnote citing In Flanders Fields and Other Poems. The footnote includes an explanation of the discrepancy, with wikilinks to the images of the typeset and handwritten versions included in this book. If the consensus is that both images should not be included in the article body, then perhaps the best solution would be to remove the handwritten image currently there — including neither image — and depend instead on the wikilinks in the footnote. — Richwales (no relation to Jimbo) 20:54, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
Your footnote is unnecessary, as it is a simple duplication of the note I added to the image caption. And "many editors"? Try one in the full year since I rewrote it, and your response was to overreact to the comments of a single person who completely failed to comprehend the very paragraph they must have read before adding in their note. And your "NPOV" argument is bunk, no matter how many times you simply state otherwise. The text of the poem is presented four times in various forms. Two with one word, two with the other. With a full paragraph explaining the confusion. The simple truth is, we cannot force people to understand when they choose not to, so catering to the lowest common denominator is pointless and counterproductive. Resolute 04:14, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

Blow vs. grow — yet again[edit]

The "blow vs. grow" controversy is springing up again. I wonder if it might be advisable to create a "Blow vs. grow" section, by splitting off the last paragraph currently in the "Publication" section, and then fill out the new section with appropriate sources discussing the inconsistencies and disputes. In any event, a long-running edit war is not the way to handle this matter; and if IP's and brand-new accounts persist in changing the article in defiance of calls for discussion, I think we should consider asking for long-term semi-protection or pending-changes protection. — Richwales (no relation to Jimbo) 19:50, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

I don't believe that creating a section that would place undue weight on a relatively small aspect of the poem's history would solve the issue of the odd person rushing in to "fix" the article without reading it. Protection around Remembrance Day might be useful, I agree, but the article doesn't undergo consistent edit warring such that long term protection would be necessary. Resolute 00:35, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
Rich has a good point, but I think Resolute's response is probably right - it's that odd person rushing in to "fix" the article without reading it which is our problem here. They're no more likely to read a new paragraph than they are to take note of what we already have there, which I feel makes it pretty clear to those willing to read it. I do think that protecting it for a while around 11/11 would help greatly. Then the urgent need to FIX WHAT IS WRONG RIGHT NOW might have died down a bit. :) Best wishes to all DBaK (talk) 08:32, 12 November 2014 (UTC)