杂记

最近这个月在上EK的英文课,

每次半天的课,

那个和蔼的老老师是很不错,

发言极其标准,而且很有耐心,

再复杂的词也能用我们能够听懂的语言解释,

让我们这些学生们自信心大增。

几个星期下来还是发现自己有点进步地,

过去只能看中文字幕的《飘》竟然也能听得懂不少了。

按照现在的标准,不增加1万的词汇是过不了关的。

以前设想的种种学英语的方式都没实现,

而最终却是另外一种方式,

包括口语突飞猛进让我不得不感叹,

原来语言真的是要有环境基础的!

眼看着春节一天天临近,

却没有丝毫的回国准备。

看样子,

我是真的只能在异国过一个除夕了。

John McCrae: In Flanders Fields (1915)

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Canadian poet John McCrae was a medical officer in both the Boer War and World War I. A year into the latter war he published in Punch magazine, on December 8, 1915, the sole work by which he would be remembered. This poem commemorates the deaths of thousands of young men who died in Flanders during the grueling battles there. It created a great sensation, and was used widely as a recruiting tool, inspiring other young men to join the Army. Legend has it that he was inspired by seeing the blood-red poppies blooming in the fields where many friends had died. In 1918 McCrae died at the age of 46, in the way most men died during that war, not from a bullet or bomb, but from disease: pneumonia, in his case.

Compare the mood in the first two stanzas with that in the third. Can you explain why people during the war interpreted it primarily as a pro-war poem although it was often read later as an anti-war poem? Who is the speaker in this poem? What does the speaker want his listeners to do?

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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