Rippling grasses tickle,
A breath of air caresses,
Unseen crickets call,
In swaying white daisies,
And I’m chasing meadow butterflies,
Just to catch a dream.
Gather poppy petals,
Cloth of scarlet silk,
Black threaded garment,
To wrap in love,
Once upon a time Cornflowers, Daisies and Poppies fluttered in the fields like the tricolours of France. But the Cornflowers have all gone.
‘Les Bleuets’ was the nickname given to the young soldiers conscripted in the lead up to the Second Battle of Ainse, World War 1, who were wearing the new blue uniform. It became a name used frequently in propaganda songs and poems, and conjured images of blue cornflowers, that continued to grow and bloom in devastated battlefields.
“These here, these little ‘Bleuets’
these Bleuets the colour of the sky,
Are beautiful, gay, stylish,
Because they are not afraid.
Merrily, go forward,
Go on, my friends, so long!
Good luck for you, little ‘blues’
Little ‘bleuets’, you are our heros.
(Alphonse Bourgoin 1916)
Head nurse Lenhardt created a blue cornflower badge in tissue paper, to raise income for the rehabilitating soldiers she cared for, and by the 1920s, ‘Les Bleuets’ badge had became a national symbol.
Referenced Wikipedia for information and poem.