Thursday, November 10, 2011
http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/) In these times of democratic sensibility, poppy-wearing can elicit a silly and pseudo-liberal response like this http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/scott-hill/poppy-and-remembrance-day-fiasco_b_1085824.html, but on the whole the poppy is simply shorthand for the conscious and personal memorialisation of lives lost. In America, though, the wearing of a poppy is not part of the heartfelt Veterans' Day tradition, and I have worn a poppy this week to the bemusement of some of my students, a few of whom have openly wondered why I'm wearing a paper flower. It's not something they had come across at all. So, what seems so obvious and clear to me--a text symbolising national sadness at loss and admiration of courage--means nothing in another context, showing how all kinds of texts are, effectively, dialectal and socio-culturally contingent.