Wednesday, December 3, 2008

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 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.

I just recently watched the movie, Four Weddings and a Funeral and this poem is recited in it. I love the weighty-ness of it. The sentiment. The heavy grief. The pause in time. I don't know why I am printing it here as usually I am a pretty happy person but I can appreciate this poem. It also seems appropriate on a gray winter's day here especially when we have not seen sun for many days!

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