These paper boats of mine are meant to dance on the ripples of hours, and not reach any destination... Rabindranath Tagore

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past...F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby

We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.
On the way to the river are the old dormitories, used for something else now, with their fairy-tale turrets, painted white and gold and blue. When we think of the past it's the beautiful things we pick out. We want to believe it was all like that.
--from Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale

Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another's skin, another's voice, another's soul.
- Joyce Carol Oates

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Red Poppy

The Red Poppy (2012)  – David Hill – Illustrated by Fifi Colston – pub. Creative New Zealand

Thousands of soldiers
Marching through the night to their trenches
In the dark
So the Germans can’t see them

Ted a stretcher bearer
His friend Matiu

And the messenger dog
– like a puppy.

(Soldiers found him in a ruined village.
Soldiers could write messages and tuck them in his little leather bag.)

And a German
Finding a special connection
With the help of
A little dog
And a field of

Imagine finding a book
That takes moments to read
But lingers
A lifetime


The Red PoppyThe Red Poppy by David Hill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A story set in World War I, where the public enemy is not always the private enemy; where red poppies are not always a symbol of death.
And a little dog knows.
Could the ravages of war possibly hold some beautiful moments?
The illustrations by Fifi Colston are a delight!

View all my reviews

Linking to:
Poetry Pantry


Heaven said...

Interesting review and premise ~

Thanks for sharing ~

Kerry O'Connor said...

I look forward to your poetic reviews, Gemma. This promises to be an interesting angle on war-time relationships.

Daydreamertoo said...

I've often thought about the animals during the 1st world war that were used. The poor horses, and yes, the dogs. Yes, nice review

PhotoDiction said...

I really enjoy how you do your reviews and impressions with poetry. It is wonderful to see how literature inspires literature - but then, perhaps that's always been so.

Poet Laundry said...

I can imagine it all. And red poppies are beautiful. Thanks Gemma.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh this is so touching. The face on that little dog. I hate the thought of dogs in the middle of war - humans, too, for that matter, but the animals have no choice. What an interesting story, thanks for posting....

Kim Nelson said...

Best book review I have read in a very long time! Art describing art. Ideal!

Anonymous said...

Great concept...I typically hate reviews...this, I enjoy.

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