Remembrance/PEN and Liu Xia – Poetry News Roundup November 6th

Welcome to another week here at My Poetic Side. As Remembrance Day draws near we take a look at the iconic poem “In Flanders Fields” and the Royal British Legions latest poppy artwork. We also bring you a story about PEN America and the letter to the Chinese government regarding Liu Xia and her “house arrest”.

In Flanders Fields…

On the 11th November at 11am people will fall silent for 2 minutes in remembrance of the soldiers who lost their lives in World War One. Known as Armistice day or Remembrance Day it marks the day in 1918 when at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month the war ended.

For many people, Remembrance Day recalls the iconic poem
by John McCrae; this year The Royal British Legion has decided to recreate the poem in a spectacular way in the hopes of bringing it into the modern-day consciousness.

Lines from the poem have been spelled out by placing poppies in groups in fields at seven locations around the UK. The poppy, which is seen as a symbol of hope has formed a large part of the British Legions “Poppy Appeal” for a number of years

The lines of poetry which have been captured in drone footage which offers a bird’s eye view are located on
McCrae wrote his poem after poppies began to grow on the battlefield; the symbolism of the British Legions most recent poppy artwork is all too apparent, bringing both new perspective and meaning to the words.

Authors in Plea for Poets Freedom

In a letter organised by PEN America over fifty prominent authors have called for Xi Jinping, President of China to release Liu Xia, who is the widow of the late Liu Xiaobo, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Chinese dissident.

The authors who expressed their concern for what appears to be the ongoing detention of Liu Xia; she has been under a house arrest over the last seven years, yet no charges have been made, have asked Xi Jinping to return Liu Xia’s freedom to move. She appears to have been kept under this “house arrest” simply because of who her husband was but she is now herself suffering with ill health, isolated from her friends and family and still grieving for her husband who was unable to get the treatment he needed whilst he was in prison.

The 52 writers who signed the open letter included:


The Chinese authorities claim that Liu Xia is not under house arrest and is in fact free to come and go as she wishes.

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