Friday, October 17, 2008

Auden got it right

(Posting this just because...)

"Funeral Blues"

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public
doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

7 comments:

Tash said...

After Maddy died, one of my friends told me she read -- well, practically screamed -- this poem at her father's funeral.

Tough to know life continues when yours has ground to a halt.

k@lakly said...

I remember driving home from the funeral home with my baby Caleb's ashes on the front seat next to me and thinking how can everyone just be going on with their lives, driving right next to me, me in my own hearse, driving my dead baby home...how can their lives just keep going. And now I know. Because they just do.
Hugs.
xxoo

Reese said...

This poem started out in my head the second they pushed that small blue box of ashes across the table to me at the funeral home.

{sigh}

Reese

Mrs. Spit said...

I have always loved Auden, but I heard this read in a classroom in grade 10, by a teacher who had just lost a very dear friend.

And it spoke to me. Mostly of the need to stop the world around us from spinning, while we come to terms with what happened. It spoke of the longing to make sure that the world stops and respects our grief.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

Every line of that poem makes me hurt.

For all the times in the past I could relate, and oddly, also for the times in the future I know I will again.

Beautifully painful.

Carrie said...

'For nothing now can ever come to any good'

This has to be the saddest truth.

Thank you so much for checking on me. I was so touched x

loribeth said...

"Stop all the clocks." If only we could...