The Poppy

The Poppy, Maquette for Bronze Sculpture
36 x 66 x 38 centimetres (14 x 26 x 15 inches) Not including the Base


Flanders Fields by Wilfred Owen, an English soldier and poet who died at just 25, was one source of inspiration for The Poppy. When I think of the paper poppies we use to commemorate the dead, they seem so far removed from the source of the symbology.

But it all started there, at the war front, when someone drew an analogy between the poppy fields, which from a distance looked like a mat of red, and the blood shed by their comrades. We can only imagine, as we see the images today in black and white, but thousands dying and shedding their blood would create a similar scene.

I couldn’t help but wonder how many men and boys established that comparison there and then? How many poppies must have remained for anyone to be able to see the poetry in them? Did such philosophical thoughts bring comfort to a young man’s heart or mind.

When creating the piece I tried to imagine a young man like that deep into his thoughts, having witnessed indescribable horror, yet able to establish such a poetic connection, totally unaware of the symbolism right there, in his very hand, that would be taken as an emblem for following generations a hundred years later and beyond.

Flanders Fields By Wilfred Owen

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.
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The Poppy

The Poppy
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Date:
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The Poppy, Maquette for Bronze Sculpture
36 x 66 x 38 centimetres (14 x 26 x 15 inches) Not including the Base


Flanders Fields by Wilfred Owen, an English soldier and poet who died at just 25, was one source of inspiration for The Poppy. When I think of the paper poppies we use to commemorate the dead, they seem so far removed from the source of the symbology.

But it all started there, at the war front, when someone drew an analogy between the poppy fields, which from a distance looked like a mat of red, and the blood shed by their comrades. We can only imagine, as we see the images today in black and white, but thousands dying and shedding their blood would create a similar scene.

I couldn’t help but wonder how many men and boys established that comparison there and then? How many poppies must have remained for anyone to be able to see the poetry in them? Did such philosophical thoughts bring comfort to a young man’s heart or mind.

When creating the piece I tried to imagine a young man like that deep into his thoughts, having witnessed indescribable horror, yet able to establish such a poetic connection, totally unaware of the symbolism right there, in his very hand, that would be taken as an emblem for following generations a hundred years later and beyond.

Flanders Fields By Wilfred Owen

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.