A Collection of Remembrance Day Poems to Read and Reflect On

Remembrance Day is a way to pay tribute to the individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives to protect their nations. The day also educates future generations about the impact of war, the lessons learned from past conflicts, and the importance of peace and diplomacy for the future.

The poem In Flanders Fields is often read across the world at schools and during ceremonies to honor the day. Though John McCrae captures the emotions of the day, below are a few other poems that you may never heard before. This poetry conveys emotion and transcends time.

Below you’ll find images of the poems that you can share with friends and family, as well as text-based versions so you can print them out if you like. (To further honour the day and grow wildflowers, we suggest using seed paper that grows when planted.)

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
 And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
 Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
 Of sun-split clouds – and done a hundred things
 You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
 High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
 I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
 My eager craft through footless halls of air…
 Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
 I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
 Where never lark, or even eagle flew –
 And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
 The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
 Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

 – Officer John G. Magee, Jr. – November, 1941

The City’s Oldest Known Survivor of the Great War

marches in uniform down the traffic stripe

at the center of the street, counts time

to the unseen web that has rearranged

the air around him, his left hand

stiff as a leather strap along his side,

the other saluting right through the decades

as if they weren’t there, as if everyone under ninety

were pervasive fog the morning would dispel

in its own good time, as if the high school band

all flapping thighs and cuffs behind him

were as ghostly as the tumbleweed on every road

dead-ended in the present, all the ancient infantry

shoulder right, through a skein of bone, presenting arms

across the drift, nothing but empty graves now

to round off another century,

the sweet honey of the old cadence, the streets

going by at attention, the banners glistening with dew,

the wives and children blowing kisses.

-James Doyle


The water sings along our keel,   

   The wind falls to a whispering breath;

I look into your eyes and feel

   No fear of life or death;   

So near is love, so far away   

The losing strife of yesterday.

We watch the swallow skim and dip;

   Some magic bids the world be still;   

Life stands with finger upon lip;

   Love hath his gentle will;

Though hearts have bled, and tears have burned,

The river floweth unconcerned.

We pray the fickle flag of truce

   Still float deceitfully and fair;

Our eyes must love its sweet abuse;   

   This hour we will not care,

Though just beyond to-morrow’s gate,   

Arrayed and strong, the battle wait.

-Sophie Jewett

from “1915: The Trenches”

All night long we lie

Stupidly watching the smoke puff over the sky,

Stupidly watching the interminable stars

Come out again, peaceful and cold and high,

Swim into the smoke again, or melt in a flare of red…

All night long, all night long,

Hearing the terrible battle of guns,

We smoke our pipes, we think we shall soon be dead,

We sleep for a second, and wake again,

We dream we are filling pans and baking bread,

Or hoeing the witch-grass out of the wheat,

We dream we are turning lathes,

Or open our shops, in the early morning,

And look for a moment along the quiet street…

And we do not laugh, though it is strange

In a harrowing second of time

To traverse so many worlds, so many ages,

And come to this chaos again,

This vast symphonic dance of death,

This incoherent dust.

-Conrad Aiken 1899-1973

Indian Veterans

We are the forgotten,
Of the “lest we forget”

We are invisible
Ghosts from The Rez

We had no obligation to join,
We had to give up our treaty status.
We fought, we died. 

Our language was used for secret messages.
We stood side by side with the other soldiers in our victory. 

We were cast aside when we came back home.
We didn’t get the benefits allotted to other veterans;
We didn’t know where to live since we gave up our treaty status

We were the forgotten,
Of the “lest we forget”
We were the invisible ghosts from The Rez. 

-Solomon Ratt

One Thousand Men Are Walking

One thousand men are walking
Walking side by side
Singing songs from home
The spirit as their guide
they walk toward the light milord
they walk towards the sun
they smoke and laugh and smile together
no foes to outrun
these men live on forever
in the hearts of those they saved
a nation truly grateful
for the path of peace they paved
they march as friends and comrades
but they do not march for war
step closer to salvation
a tranquil steady corps
the meadows lit with golden beams
a beacon for the brave
the emerald grass untrampled
a reward for what they gave
they dream of those they left behind
and know they dream of them
forever in those poppy fields
there walks one thousand men.

-Joshua Dyer


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