100 years ago poetry was an integral part of Canadian life. Everyone read poetry, most wrote it, you had to learn some in school, and poems are found in almost all the war diaries and letters. Of course, the most famous being In Flanders Fields…
The Vimy Oaks Team is reaching out to Canada’s poets for a poem to be read at the planting of the ‘repatriated’ Vimy Oaks in 2017 in France for the 100th Anniversary of the battle, and Canada’s 150th birthday. The trees represent our fallen soldiers and present Canadians who are standing on guard for democracy and freedom. They ‘say’ to the French (and other allies) that Canada answers the call. 100 years later the acorn has returned. We have not forgotten.
Thank you to all who submitted poems to us!
Many poems have been translated and you can also read them in French here.
After careful consideration, our winning submission is:
Vimy Oaks – Windbreak
by Tony Peneff ~ 2016
Quercus: “Nations hurled together so they might learn to know one another” – Derek Beaulieu, Calgary AB- Poet Laureate
Vimy Ridge, We Stand on Guard for Thee, Katheryn Bezaire, Windsor ON
Conception: acorn, zygote, history, Yvonne Blomer, Victoria, BC – Poet Laureate
These Mighty Oaks That Stand on Guard, Hillery Bourne, Toronto, ON
A Moment in Time – The Vimy Oaks, Laura Cannon-Sherlock, Flesherton, ON
Vimy Oaks, George Elliott Clarke – 7th Parliamentary P.L.
On Guard For Thee, Andrea Coli, Calgary, AB
Vimy’s Sentinels, Khrys Dumyn, Toronto, ON
The Battle of Vimy Ridge, Jim Dyer
Our Vimy Ridge Heroes – Connie Lee Fehr, Kingsville, ON
Easter Monday 1917, Jennifer Footman, Caledon, ON
We Live Their Lives – Lynn Hilborn, Grafton, ON
Architects of Liberty – Candice James, New Westminster, BC – Poet Laureate
The Stand of Oak – Penn Kemp, London ON – Poet Laureate
Holding On – Deirdre Kessler, Charlottetown, PEI – Poet Laureate
The Vimy Oaks, Judith Krause, Regina, SK – Poet Laureate
Vimy Oaks, Thomas Leduc, Sudbury, ON – Poet Laureate
The Vimy Oaks – Bruce Meyer, Barrie ON – Poet Laureate
Windbreak – Tony Peneff, Chilliwack BC
The Vimy Oaks – Michael Shain, Little Current, ON
Remembrance Day – Douglas Sinclair, Toronto, ON
On Vimy Ridge – Sylvia Taekema, Chatham, ON
Vimy Ridge Pilgrimage – John Wiznuk, Mississauga ON
A special submission: Here On The Top Of Vimy Ridge I Stand by Andrew Lane
Mr. Gordon Lane (London, Ontario) submitted his father’s First World War poems which had only recently been rediscovered. Andrew Lane was a Gunner with the 43rd Battery Canadian Field Artillery. The unit was commissioned in 1916 by Lt. Col. David McCrae, John McCrae’s father. Gunner Lane’s poems written in 1917‐1918, provide us with a contemporary soldier’s thoughts and emotions.