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.
A big thank you to Alison McGhee for her thoughtful curation of these beautiful poems.
For more information on W.H. Auden, please click here: http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/120
2 responses to “Poem of the Week: Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden”
This is an amazing poem and I’ve loved it ever since John Hannah recited it in “Four Weddings and a Funeral”. Thanks for the post.
That’s funny Joanne because that’s where I first heard the poem and as soon as Alison posted this (she curates all the poems) I recognized it. I love it as well. It’s passionate and forlorn at the same time.