Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday's Poetry: "Funeral Blues"

by Pa Rock
Poetry Appreciator

Two weeks ago as I was watching the movie, "Four Weddings and a Funeral" for the second time in about ten years, I was suddenly blown away during the funeral sequence when Matthew (John Hannah) recited the following poem at the funeral of his lover, Gareth (Simon Callow).  It was the most moving moment in the film because the poem fit the occasion so well, and Matthew's rendition of it was a work of oratorical beauty.  "Funeral Blues" by W.H. Auden says so much in just a few words, and it leaves the reader (or the listener) knowing the deep extent of the survivor's pain.

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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