It's the time of year when visitors turn up in vast numbers at this blog looking for Laurence Binyon's 'For the Fallen'. I like to be helpful, so here in one handy blogpost are all your Remembrancetide needs. Binyon is your man if you are prepared to wait until stanza 4; McCrae is punchier, certainly more pugilistic: you will need to ignore the final stanza's call to arms, or at least pretend that, as long as it is read in a suitably sombre tone, no one need worry about what it means.
John McCrae, 'In Flanders Fields'
Then there is David Cameron's favourite poem, Wilfred Owen's 'Dulce et Decorum Est'; or, if you want something more unusual, you could choose Charlotte Mew's 'The Cenotaph'. Mew tells us the uncomfortable truth---which politicians of all stripes never fail to confirm---that remembrance can be conveniently reduced to nothing more than a public gesture, a performance, a token monument. As Geoffrey Hill, our greatest living poet, bitterly complains, England has become 'a nation / with so many memorials but no memory'.