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May 11, 2019

Funeral Blues — W.H. Auden (1936)

 

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.

 

 

 

[This poem, the first of "Two Songs for Hedli Anderson," was first published in 1936 as "Song IX" from "Twelve Songs." It was reprinted with its present title in the 1976 collection "Tell Me The Truth About Love." Its most famous appearance was in the 1994 film "Four Weddings and a Funeral."]

May 11, 2019 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


Comments

I always liked Auden. That’s probably not a good sign…

http://www.parodies.org.uk/auden-empson.htm

Posted by: Paul Tempke | May 12, 2019 6:33:03 PM

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