Elizabeth Barrett-marriage, motherhood, and mission

Elizabeth suffered from illness and disability during much of her life, which didn’t stop her from using her creativity to write prolifically. She became an activist for social causes, using her writing to fight the oppression of women, child labor, and slavery.

After reading Elizabeth Barrett’Poems (1844) and corresponding with her for a few months, Robert Browning met her in 1845. Despite opposition from her father, they eloped in 1846. Her father never spoke to her again.

Prior to her marriage Elizabeth had already established a reputation as a poet; although not published until years later, she wrote her well known and beloved collection of poems, SONNETS FROM THE PORTUGUESE, in response to Robert’s ardent courtship.

“I love thee to the level of everyday’s

Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.”

Sonnet XLIII

Elizabeth read the Bible in its original languages of Hebrew and Greek, and developed a passionate Christian faith; she was active in her church.

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The couple moved from England to Florence, Italy, where they continued to write. They had a son, Robert “Pen” Browning, in 1849, the same year Robert’s COLLECTED POEMS was published.

Elizabeth inspired Robert’s collection of poems Men and Women (1855), which he dedicated to her.

“Now regarded as one of Browning’s best works, the book was received with little notice at the time; its author was then primarily known as Elizabeth Barrett’s husband.” (quote from poets.org)

motherhood; all love begins and ends there. Robert Browning

Elizabeth suffered from illness and disability during much of her life, which didn’t stop her from using her creativity to write prolifically. She became an activist for social causes, using her writing to fight the oppression of women, child labor, and slavery.

“I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.”

Sonnet XLIII

exploring the HEART of literature and love

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                              Dr. Aletha 

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Bookshop.org– exploring the HEART of books

Poems and poppies-why we remember John McCrae-physician, poet, reluctant soldier

In the battlefields of Belgium during World War I, poppies grew wild amid the ravages of war. The overturned soils of battle covered  the poppy seeds to,  allowing them to grow and forever serve as a reminder of the bloodshed of war.

Out of this conflict came a poem, from which also came the association with poppies .

 

Our most solemn holiday

In the United States,  the last Monday in May is Memorial Day, but it’s now become a  “holiday” weekend. History.com calls it “America’s most solemn holiday.”

That’s a fitting title, since it commemorates 2 solemn events- the wars our country has fought and the men and women who died in military service for those wars.

And now, the Friday of Memorial Day weekend is  observed as  National Poppy Day

 

 

 

Why poppies?

I love the story of the poppies because it has a medical connection.

In the battlefields of Belgium during World War I, poppies grew wild amid the ravages of war. The overturned soils of battle covered  the poppy seeds to,  allowing them to grow and forever serve as a reminder of the bloodshed of war.

Out of this conflict came a poem, from which also came the association with poppies .

 

The now famous poem, In Flanders Fields, was written by a Canadian physician, Lt. Col. John McCrae.

 

Originally from Canada, Dr.McCrae was an English and math teacher, as well as a poet, before he attended medical school. He moved to England and was practicing there when World War I broke out, and he was called to serve as a brigade-surgeon.

I suspect that as a physician, he was deeply  pained by  treating the wounded, and the loss of those he could not save.

“In April 1915, McCrae was stationed in the trenches near Ypres, Belgium, in an area known as Flanders, during the bloody Second Battle of Ypres.

In the midst of the tragic warfare, McCrae’s friend, twenty-two-year-old Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed by artillery fire and buried in a makeshift grave.

The following day, McCrae, after seeing the field of makeshift graves blooming with wild poppies, wrote his famous poem “In Flanders Field,” which would be the second to last poem he would ever write.”

(from John McCrae at poets.org)

 

 

In Flanders Fields

Dr. John McCrae, 18721918

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.

This poem is in the public domain.

Soon after writing “In Flanders Fields,” McCrae was transferred to a hospital in France, . Saddened and disillusioned by the war, McCrae found respite in writing letters and poetry, and wrote his final poem, “The Anxious Dead.”

In the summer of 1917, McCrae’s health took a turn, and he began suffering from severe asthma attacks and bronchitis. McCrae died of pneumonia and meningitis on January 28, 1918.

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I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

                              Dr. Aletha 

poppies- from Flanders fields to Kansas City

In the battlefields of Belgium during World War I, poppies grew wild amid the ravages of war. The overturned soils of battle covered  the poppy seeds to,  allowing them to grow and forever serve as a reminder of the bloodshed of war.

Out of this conflict came a poem, from which also came the association with poppies .

When I posted this in a physician bloggers group, I learned about the World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City from Dr. Kristen Kasper Stuppy. I haven’t visited it yet, but I was pleased to learn from their website that they have an exhibit featuring poppies.

“though poppies grow in Flanders fields”

In the United States,  the last Monday in May is Memorial Day, but it’s now become a  “holiday” weekend. The Friday of Memorial Day weekend is now observed as  National Poppy Day

In the early 1920s the American Legion Auxiliary adopted the poppy as the American Legion Family’s memorial flower. Still today it symbolizes the service and sacrifice of veterans of World War I and other military operations.

ALA members distribute millions of paper poppies annually across the country in exchange for donations that go directly to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans in our communities.

armed forces emblems over a field of poppies

Why poppies?

I love the story of the poppies because it has a medical connection.

In the battlefields of Belgium during World War I, poppies grew wild amid the ravages of war. The overturned soils of battle covered  the poppy seeds to,  allowing them to grow and forever serve as a reminder of the bloodshed of war.

Out of this conflict came a poem, from which also came the association with poppies .

 

The now famous poem, In Flanders Fields, was written by a Canadian physician, Lt. Col. John McCrae.

Originally from Canada, Dr.McCrae was an English and math teacher, as well as a poet, before he attended medical school. He moved to England and was practicing there when World War I broke out, and he was called to serve as a brigade-surgeon.

I suspect that as a physician, he was deeply  pained by  treating the wounded, and the loss of those he could not save.

“In April 1915, McCrae was stationed in the trenches near Ypres, Belgium, in an area known as Flanders, during the bloody Second Battle of Ypres.

In the midst of the tragic warfare, McCrae’s friend, twenty-two-year-old Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed by artillery fire and buried in a makeshift grave.

The following day, McCrae, after seeing the field of makeshift graves blooming with wild poppies, wrote his famous poem “In Flanders Field,” which would be the second to last poem he would ever write.”

(from John McCrae at poets.org)

In Flanders Fields

Dr. John McCrae, 18721918

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.

This poem is in the public domain.

 

The poppy is the official state flower of California.  Read 5 more

interesting facts about poppies. 

Welcome Home Heroes- military sign
Thanks to the support of generous donors like you, The American Legion can continue to provide much-needed assistance to our veterans, service members and their families.

You can  help deserving veterans by donating  at this link,

The American Legion 

just one of the ways this blog works to share the HEART of health

Dr. Aletha 

“though poppies grow in Flanders fields”

In the battlefields of Belgium during World War I, poppies grew wild amid the ravages of war. The overturned soils of battle covered  the poppy seeds to,  allowing them to grow and forever serve as a reminder of the bloodshed of war.

 

In the United States,  the last Monday in May is Memorial Day, but it’s now become a  “holiday” weekend. The Friday of Memorial Day weekend is now observed as  National Poppy Day

In the early 1920s the American Legion Auxiliary adopted the poppy as the American Legion Family’s memorial flower. Still today it symbolizes the service and sacrifice of veterans of World War I as well as veterans in other eras.

ALA members distribute millions of paper poppies annually across the country in exchange for donations that go directly to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans in our communities.

armed forces emblems over a field of poppies

Why poppies?

I love the story of the poppies because it has a medical connection.

In the battlefields of Belgium during World War I, poppies grew wild amid the ravages of war. The overturned soils of battle covered  the poppy seeds to,  allowing them to grow and forever serve as a reminder of the bloodshed of war.

Out of this conflict came a poem, from which also came the association with poppies .

 

The now famous poem, In Flanders Fields, was written by a Canadian physician, Lt. Col. John McCrae.

Originally from Canada, Dr.McCrae was an English and math teacher, as well as a poet, before he attended medical school. He moved to England and was practicing there when World War I broke out, and he was called to serve as a brigade-surgeon.

I suspect that as a physician, he was deeply  pained by  treating the wounded, and the loss of those he could not save.

“In April 1915, McCrae was stationed in the trenches near Ypres, Belgium, in an area known as Flanders, during the bloody Second Battle of Ypres.

In the midst of the tragic warfare, McCrae’s friend, twenty-two-year-old Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed by artillery fire and buried in a makeshift grave.

The following day, McCrae, after seeing the field of makeshift graves blooming with wild poppies, wrote his famous poem “In Flanders Field,” which would be the second to last poem he would ever write.”

(from John McCrae at poets.org)

In Flanders Fields

Dr. John McCrae, 18721918

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.

This poem is in the public domain.

 

The poppy is the official state flower of California.  Read 5 more

interesting facts about poppies. 

Welcome Home Heroes- military sign
Thanks to the support of generous donors like you, The American Legion can continue to provide much-needed assistance to our veterans, service members and their families.

You can  help deserving veterans by donating  at this link.

The American Legion 

sharing the HEART of honoring our heroes

I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Thanks so much.

                              Dr. Aletha 

Christmas bells from Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote prolifically, creating one of the greatest collections of American poetry. Despite, and perhaps due to his family’s medical challenges, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote poetry that touched people’s hearts and minds then and now.

Christmas Bells

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote prolifically, creating one of the greatest collections of American poetry, depicting the history of the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries. He published the first of his poems at 13 years old.

"I heard the bells on Christmas Day"
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet

Henry’s first marriage ended tragically with his wife Mary’s death from complications of a  miscarriage. He sank into suicidal depression after her death.

He regained  happiness with his second wife, Fanny, with whom he had six children. Again, tragedy struck when she was severely burned from candle wax and died soon after. Henry was burned trying to help her, and may have grown his well-known beard to hide the scars on his face.

During the American Civil War his son Charley fought for the Union ; he suffered severe wounds, and his father cared for him until he recovered. During this time, Henry wrote Christmas Bells.

Despite, and perhaps due to his family’s medical challenges, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote poetry that touched people’s hearts and minds then and now.

Go here to read The True Story of Pain and Hope behind this beloved Christmas carol.

Christmas tree, statues of old man and a boy
photo by Dr. Aletha

What is Advent?

The season of Advent, which comes comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming” or “visit,” begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year for Christians. [Liturgical — from liturgy, which means the forms and functions of public worship.]

Many families observe Advent with Bible readings, lighting candles, songs, and stories to remind them of the events leading up to the birth of Christ as told in the New Testament. (these are affiliate links for you to consider and help support this blog with a commission on any purchases you make while reviewing)

sharing the HEART of

I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Thanks so much.

Thank you for considering the affiliate links in this post, which fund this blog.

                              Dr. Aletha 

Memorial Day

The following day, McCrae, after seeing the field of makeshift graves blooming with wild poppies, wrote his famous poem “In Flanders Field,” which would be the second to last poem he would ever write.”

Those we remember on Memorial Day

As the daughter and wife of United States military veterans, I appreciate all the other families of those who served. I am saddened to remember all the men and women who have left home to serve our nation and never returned alive.

We celebrate the unofficial start of summer at the end of May as a “holiday” weekend. However, Memorial Day is the day Americans set aside to honor those brave men and women who lost their lives while defending our freedom. It is our duty to honor their sacrifices, to pray for their families, and to bow our heads in recognition of their service.

The American Legion Auxiliary adopted the poppy as a symbol of this remembrance.
We will never forget.

History of the poppy

In the battlefields of Belgium during World War I, poppies grew wild amid the ravages of war. The overturned soils of battle enabled the poppy seeds to be covered, allowing them to grow and forever serve as a reminder of the bloodshed of war.

Out of this conflict came a poem, from which also came the association with poppies .

 The now famous poem, In Flanders Fields, was written by a Canadian physician, Lt. Col. John McCrae.

Dr.McCrae was an English and math teacher, as well as a poet, before he attended medical school. He moved to England and was practicing there when World War I broke out, and he was called to serve as a brigade-surgeon.

I suspect that as a physician, he was deeply  pained by  treating the wounded, and the loss of those he could not save.

“In April 1915, McCrae was stationed in the trenches near Ypres, Belgium, in an area known as Flanders, during the bloody Second Battle of Ypres.

In the midst of the tragic warfare, McCrae’s friend, twenty-two-year-old Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed by artillery fire and buried in a makeshift grave.

The following day, McCrae, after seeing the field of makeshift graves blooming with wild poppies, wrote his famous poem “In Flanders Field,” which would be the second to last poem he would ever write.”

(from John McCrae at poets.org)

In Flanders Fields

John McCrae, 18721918

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.

This poem is in the public domain.

exploring the HEART of service

I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use this form to get an email notification of new posts . Please find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn. Thanks so much.

                              Dr. Aletha 

Weekend Words for Mother’s Day

Mothers, poetry, and love

motherhood; all love begins and ends there. Robert Browning
graphic courtesy of Lightstock

Robert Browning, poet 

“After reading Elizabeth Barrett’Poems (1844) and corresponding with her for a few months, Browning met her in 1845. They were married in 1846, against the wishes of Barrett’s father.

The couple moved to Pisa and then Florence, where they continued to write. They had a son, Robert “Pen” Browning, in 1849, the same year his Collected Poems was published.

Elizabeth inspired Robert’s collection of poems Men and Women (1855), which he dedicated to her. Now regarded as one of Browning’s best works, the book was received with little notice at the time; its author was then primarily known as Elizabeth Barrett’s husband.” (quote from poets.org)

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Please share this post and follow this blog and my social media sites. I appreciate my faithful readers.

                                                       

             

                                          Dr. Aletha stethoscope with a heart

BOOKNIFICENT THURSDAYS
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