Saturday, December 7, 2013


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 crepe bows round the white necks of 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.

(W H Auden)
Thanks to my friend Jane on Facebook for posting the poem. Jane lives in South Africa.


Marthe said...

Yes, this stage of grief is necessary, real, beautifully Auden ... and exactly the last thing the man would want - his legacy is doing, not this stage of despair ... even so, he would understand.

Grandmère Mimi said...

The words of the grief-stricken who have lost all hope would not be what Mandela would have wanted, but you're right. He would understand.

JCF said...

Auden wrote that for the death of his lover, amiright?

Grandmère Mimi said...

I believe you're right, JCF.