Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden

Normally, I share a poem on Saturdays. And, I will share a poem tomorrow. But, I find that poetry is particularly good at capturing our love in all its forms. Grief, as I see it, is a painful manifestation of love. 

As I’ve spent this week thinking about Rachel Held Evans and her short, but remarkable life. I wanted to share this poem by W.H. Auden and the clip from Four Weddings and a Funeral that introduced this poem to me.

Again, I want to recognize my own, surprisingly strong, feelings about this woman’s passing without overdoing it. I will not feel her loss as her husband, children, parents and close friends do.

But in honor of their pain and grief, I’d like to send this beautiful poem, which more than many, I think, captures the all encompassing feeling of grief out into the world in her honor and memory.


Funeral Blues
by W. H. Auden

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 crepe 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 forever: 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.


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