In Flanders Fields and Other Poems Summary

In Flanders Fields and Other Poems Summary

These are wartime poems written by a Canadian veteran of WWI, so many of the poems have to do with the spirituality and ethics of warfare, as well as an undying loyalty to the cause of freedom and faith.

In Flanders Fields

A fallen soldier urges his surviving comrades to continue bravely, to make their deaths worth their sacrifice, instead of the survivors losing faith because of the fallen.

The Anxious Dead

An ode to guns, to press onward in hopes of a silent, peaceful rest for the dead until their resurrection from the dead.

The Warrior

Although the Warrior finds himself unable to rest, with nothing to protect him from the inclement battlefield, however when he wakes to take his place on the battlefield, he does so bravely with a face full of life.


Either a parent mourns the loss of a son in war, or a soldier witnesses the death of a young boy who had joined in the battle as play.

The Unconquered Dead

Even should the living fail to win the war, the dead insist that they died in victory, and not for nothing, but for honor.

The Captain

An ode to Nelson, in the Captain's role, where the role of is likened first to a war ship, and then to a tigress.

The Song of the Derelict

A singer discovers slowly that the boat he's on is being steered by death, and he comes to peace with the water which will be his resting place.


The province of Quebec is likened to Helen of Troy, once the envy of nations, but now left in agony as her countrymen are slain in battle.

Then and Now

The poet sings old songs from his past to keep his spirits up.


The poet remembers how committed he was to life's puzzles, often reading so much he forgot to participate in life, but now, he sees the truth, that he should be humble in light of life's suffering.

The Hope of My Heart

A dying man realizes that the hope of his young marriage will be taken away from him, and he turns her over into God's hands. God responds that he has always been there for her and always will, and that one day, she too will come home.


A man returns to find his wife has taken a lover. He kills them and his penance is to be eternally trapped on earth as a ghost. He watches them sleep from his eternal punishment.

Slumber Songs

Two lullabies for a child, one for spring, one for winter—except that in the winter song, he has died.

The Oldest Drama

An archetypal representation of tragedy in the deposition of Christ, where the mother figure holds her martyred child.


Two sowers are working in the field. One stops his work, tempted by sloth and gluttony, and the other continues working. In the end, they both die, though, and the hard worker's harvest is collected by others.

Mine Host

A lonely traveler finds a strange hotel with no life in it, but tired guests accept the hotel's only gift: a restful death.


A good king falls to his death before he finally got to complete his task of becoming the best man he could be, but death makes a good legacy for him, and he is remembered for how much the children liked him.


The forces of godless men are erased from the earth by God for their arrogance.


The fallen British forces agree to lay down their weapons in death and to leave the war behind them, in this life.

The Dead Master

The master dies and finds that after the long silence of time, there is a banquet hall in heaven waiting for him.

The Harvest of the Sea

In the sea, boats are sunk by enemy forces, leaving the survivors in trauma.

The Dying of Pere Pierre

A religious man mourns the loss of his mentor on the battlefield.


Through a list of metaphors, the speaker attempts to explain that God's redemption will make this suffering worth it in the fullness of time.

Upon Watts' Picture "Sic Transit"

An ode to the painting, "Sic Transit," regarding death and the cause of Christ.

A Song of Comfort

An ode to the dead to continue their sleep restfully.

The Pilgrims

Instead of British settlers finding the new lands of Canada and America, they arrive to their strange new home—death.

The Shadow of the Cross

A mystic ode to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, ending in his ascension to heaven, with the thief from the cross alongside him to keep him company.

The Night Cometh

An ode to the sunset, a metaphor for the great end of time itself.

In Due Season

A remembrance of sowing and harvesting, an eager worker calmed by a voice which tells him to relax and wait for the final harvest—the resurrection of the dead.

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