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Remembrance Poems and Readings

Edited by
David Roberts

More information about this collection of poems and readings for Remembrance Day and Peace Events

 


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THE WAR POETRY WEBSITE

POEMS FOR REMEMBRANCE DAY
AND PEACE EVENTS

1. Lists of Remembrance Poems in the Remembrance pages
of this website, sorted into categories.

2. Brief introductions to each of the poems.
Click to access, or scroll down.








If you organise Remembrance Day Events you may find this book of interest and use.



















Poems and readings chosen and introduced by David Roberts

  Remembrance Poems and Readings - Invaluable for all who are preparing remembrance and memorial events or meetings or meditations reflecting on matters of war and peace. Published by Saxon Books. Paperback. £11-95 (UK)
More info.


















To find more poems on the War Poetry Website that may be suitable for Remembrance events please see (in addition to the poems on these Remembrance pages): Poems 2012,  2011, Poems 2010, Afghanistan. Links to these may be found on the Modern War Poetry page accessed from the MAIN INDEX page.














American First World War Cemetery at Oise-Aisne, France


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Remembrance Days


Remembrance Day in the UK is 11 November. Remembrance Sunday is the second Sunday in November.

In the United States their remembrance day is called Veterans Day and is on 11 November. Another day to remember the war dead is celebrated as Memorial Day on the last Monday of May.

In Australia and New Zealand, in addition to 11 November's commemoration, 25 April, ANZAC Day, is a day their forces are specially remembered, the anniversary of the day Australian and New Zealand forces landed at Gallipoli with tragic consequences.


Many of the following poems are used at Remembrance Day events.


Words for Remembrance Day - the celebrated words of

Laurence Binyon.


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.


From Laurence Binyon's poem For the Fallen, written in September 1914


(The full poem, For the Fallen, is printed in Minds at War and Out of the Dark. It is printed in Remembrance Poems and Readings along with Binyon's poem Now in thy Splendour.


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List of Remembrance and Peace Poems
on the War Poetry website
Followed by a brief guide to each poem

Whilst the categories below do, obviously, overlap they may be helpful to the reader to find the kind of poem he or she may be looking for. Beneath this poem index are brief introductions to each of the poems. To get back to this poem index from the  top of the page click on the "Poems that may be suitable for Remembrance Day and Peace events" heading.


Remembrance poems in a traditional vein

Page One

Remembrance  - A hymn for Remembrance Sunday Charles Henrywood   
(May be read as a poem, too.)

Taking a stand  John Bailey

We who remain  Anthony Devanny

Remember Me  Harry Riley

Home at last   Tony Church

Sunset vigil (Afghanistan)  Sgt Andy McFarlane

I do not know your name  Kenny Martin

The Crosses   Bill Mitton

Do you know?  Anne-Marie Spittle


Page Two

New Generation Veterans   David J Delaney

Life and soul of the mess   John Bailey

The volunteer  John Bailey

Remembrance Sunday  Maria Cassee

11.11.11  James Love

He is gone  David Harkin

A Turkish memorial to ANZAC and British troops   Mustafa Kemal Attaturk



  

Poems of hope and survival

The paper dove  Mark (written at the age of 14)

St Paul's  Namur King

Ode to a snowdrop during Wartime   Namur King

Prayer for Remembrance Day   Marianne Griffin

Making or breaking   David Roberts

There will be peace   David Roberts

Never again   Scott Beer (written at the age of 10)

A wish   Maxine Kendall

Maybe we should remember . . .  Marianne Griffin


  

Servicemen look death in the face

Death of a Hero  Steve Carlsen (US)

When you see million of the mouthless dead  Charles Sorley 1895-1915

Rendezvous   Alan Seeger 1888-1916 (US)

Anthem for doomed youth Wilfred Owen  1893-1918

Entrenched   Pippa Moss (written at the age of 14)



Personal loss in war

A personal remembrance 70 years on  Ken Tout

Remembrance Day  Clare Stewart (Canada)

Young sons   Bill Mitton



Remembrance poems with a critical edge

Take a breath (a remembrance song- video and words)  David Rivett

Keeping the distance Curtis D Bennett (US)

Remember Me  Curtis D Bennett (US)

What need I the waving flags  Bill Mitton

The Abandoned Soldier  Graham Cordwell

Lest we forget  Owen Griffiths (Canada)

Harbingers  Curtis D Bennett (US)

A poem for Remembrance Day - For cause or country  David Roberts

There will be no peace David Roberts

Shall we remember what war is?  David Roberts

Being in Nothingness  Arbab Sikandar Gondal

Lessons Danny  Martin

A Soldier's Face  Christophe Elie (Canada)


  

Remembering the victims of war

They lied  Rebekah Coomber

Caring for war veterans   President Barak Obama

Shepherd  Cody McEwan

Break them down   Owen Griffiths


Go straight to the poems and links to each category


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Guide to Remembrance Poems on these pages
(listed above)

Quickly find out what each poem is about


Remembrance poems in a traditional vein


Remembrance, a hymn for Remembrance Day - Charles Henrywood has written words that encompass a wide range of those who suffer as a result of war and the words may be sung to the tune of Finlandia by Sibelius. In notes accompanying his hymn he explains how the words came about and how they have already been used in Remembrance events.

Taking a stand - a soldier's response to those who object at soldiers' funerals. He invites others to stand with him in remembrance and support.

We who remain. The reflections of a serving soldier as he waits to go to a Remembrance event.

Remember Me - What the dead might say if only they could speak.


Home at Last - Former soldier, Tony Church, describes the events and significance of the return of a soldier's body to the UK.

Sunset vigil - Sgt Andy McFarlane. This records the send-off of a dead soldier from Afghanistan, the ceremony and effect on the soldiers.

I do not know your name - by Kenny Martin. After a visit to war graves the poet reflects on the soldier's lot and is moved. It has been read at many Remembrance Day events.

The Crosses  -  The author regrets that the numbers of crosses continues to grow.

To the few - A view of remembrance day.

Do you know - A soldier asks for understanding appreciation and love.

New Generation Veterans - David J Delaney (Australia). It's not just the soldiers of long ago that we should remember.

Life and soul of the mess - remembering lost comrades. First of three poems here by John Bailey. He describes how soldiers remain alive in the minds of their comrades.

The Volunteer - about the British Territorial Army and a tribute to an army friend who was killed in Afghanistan. This is a favourite poem of General Petraeus and will be printed at the front of a book about him in 2011/12.

Remembrance Sunday - An old man looks at a photograph and remembers his colleagues. He fears they may be forgotten one day.aCould the author provide her contact details, please?)

11.11.11. The endlessly repeating pattern of Remembrance.

He is gone  -  This poem began its life in a slightly different form as a love poem. With small changes it was read at the funeral of The Queen Mother on 9th April, 2002. It will be meaningful to everyone who has ever lost someone they loved.

Eternal Soldier by Anne-Marie Spittle. About the burden taken on by soldiers throughout the ages.


A Turkish memorial to ANZAC and British troops  The well-known words of consolation from a former enemy to the grieving mothers of British and Commonwealth soldiers



Remembrance poems of hope and survival


The paper dove - Mark (Age14) - The paper dove experiences the suffering of war, but is a symbol of peace and hope.

St Paul's - (London May 11th 1941) - Namur King. St Paul's is a symbol of survival in the blitz.

Ode to a snowdrop during wartime - Namur King - Life is renewed.


Prayer for Remembrance Day - May God help us all , whatever our role.

Making or breaking - The choices before us.


There will be peace - Another version of There will be no peace, this time setting out the same arguments, but in a positive way. There will be peace when enemies become fellow human beings.

Never again - A ten-year-old's plea for no more war

A wish, by a mother of three teenagers, living in Canada, expresses the universal wish for  all people to recognise their common humanity and unite to live in peace.


Maybe we should remember - some thoughts on Remembrance Day 2006.



 

Servicemen look death in the face


Death of a Hero -  there is information about Steve Carlsen and more poems by him on the 2010 page of this website

When you see millions of the mouthless dead - written by a young First World War soldier asking for no special celebration of his death or the countless thousands of fellow soldiers.*

Rendezvous - First world War US poet faces death with calmness and courage.*

Anthem for doomed youth - by Wilfred Owen. One of the most famous of all First World War poems.*


Entrenched - was written when the author was fourteen-years-old.


*  These poems appear in both Minds at War and Out in the Dark. See column on left.



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Personal loss in war


A personal remembrance 70 years on.  - A veteran of D Day, a British tank commander, says there are people not commemorated who should not be overlooked.


Remembrance Day -  by Clare Stewart, also from Canada. About a grieving mother at a Remembrance Day event.


Young sons - by Bill Mitton




Remembrance poems with a critical edge


Take a breath (a remembrance song- video and words) dedicated to the memory of his father a D-Day veteran - by David Rivett.

Keeping the distance  -  How civilians keep their minds clear of the realities of war.


Remember Me  -  About the fate of soldier survivors of war.


What need I the waving flags -  though respecting the dead the author will not join a remembrance march or service.


The Abandoned soldier -   Soldiers may live after a conflict to find that age has wearied them and the years condemned.


Lest we forget - suggests that modern remembrance events are unduly limited in their scope.


Harbingers - is by Vietnam Veteran, Curtis D. Bennett, who considers the meaning of the Second World War veterans' return to France in 2004 to commemorate the D Day landings of sixty years earlier. A bitter complaint that sacrifices have achieved nothing. The dead await the arrival of the next generation of sacrifices.

A poem for Remembrance Days  -  For cause or country - Whilst we condemn those sent to kill our own people we honour our own servicemen who kill our enemies. Soldiers deserve our pity for taking on their daunting role.

There will be no Peace - Some of the issues which lead to armed conflict.

Shall we remember what war is - suggests that war is the greatest of all criminal acts - not a private opinion, but the judgement of international law.

Being in nothingness - Where do humans go wrong?

Lessons - by Danny Martin, a former soldier. He is angered by the very thought of war and honouring it.

A Soldier's Face - What must a soldier be and who is responsible for his actions?



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Remembering the victims of war


They lied - by Rebekah Coomber. A fifteen-year-old reflects on her visit to Auschwitz.

Caring for war veterans - Barak Obama

Shepherd -  Cody McEwan, US Infantryman

Break them down  -  Owen Griffiths


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Pic of Remembrance Poems book cover