Thursday, November 18, 2010

Brave and beautiful poppies

The other day I really enjoyed reading a post on Karen's lovely blog, about Minnesota's state flower, the Lady's Slipper.  She also talked about the poppies of California, which made me think of how delighted I had been earlier this year to find poppies growing wild everywhere, in my springtime trip around Greece and Turkey.  It made me think about the photos I took of them - hence this post!

In Mycenae, in Greece, the poppies grow amongst ruins which date back three thousand years.  These ones were in cracks of the stones which remain from the palace where Agamemnon was murdered by his wife and her lover.

On top of the Acropolis in Athens, poppies grow amongst the tumbled columns of many centuries past:

Ancient ruins are pretty much my favourite places to be in the whole world.  I have spent so many years learning about classical history - I love nothing more than to stand in these places and imagine what it would have been like to be there when the inhabitants were going about their daily lives. 
For some reason they give me an incredible sense of peace and connection.

In Perge, in southern Turkey, the same bright flowers flared bravely amongst the stones:

and in Pamukkale, a strange and beautiful place:

Finally, on the way back to Istanbul, we visited Gallipoli.  I had really hoped to see poppies here, but no - everything had been rendered very neat and tidy for the Anzac day celebrations a few days later.  

These poppies there were, however. 
What heavy burdens these symbolic flowers carry, what dark stories they relate.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Laurence Binyon



  1. Oh my goodness what a lovely tribute to poppies, and all the very interesting and important facts of people from so long ago! Some with their sad stories but all with these lovely flowers growing to soften the past? Thanks Alexia you always have such a delightful way of sharing these stories that it's like a fairy tale wishing to be discovered! Amazing photos each one of them, it leaves me with a feeling like I too walked those very grounds!

  2. the red poppy is gorgeous.. i'm so use to our orange one, the red is so striking. makes our california one look blah.

  3. I enjoyed your poppy post so much that I read through it again and noticed both photos with the men walking were very candid shots....just what Carmi's TP ia this week! Very delightful! Did you notice that too?

  4. I think it's so cool how you worked my blog into your post. I'm really new to this blogger thing...I have a blog from 2007 but I never expanded with it. I would jabber to myself really, about little nothings really. I need to learn more things, like how you and others have Carmi's link right on your blog. I am stumbling as I learn but it's quite fun isn't it?

  5. Love the poppies. Was in Greece with my daughter and sister earlier this year. Just joined your blog as a follower. Hope you will stop by my blog, even though it doesn't have beautiful pictures like yours! I have had a wonderful day today browsing around the blog world and discovering some treasures, like yours! Galen

  6. i love this!!
    the poppies are beautiful...
    and i especially like the pictures of the bright red poppies among the ruins! like life & death...old & new...young & old...

    very nice! :]


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