Auden on a Good Friday

Friday, 6 April, 2012

If there’s ever an award for a poem deemed worthy of Good Friday reflection, among the more deserving winners surely would be the grief-filled Funeral Blues by Wystan Hugh Auden.

Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking at a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling in the sky the message “He Is Dead”,
Put crêpe 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 best,
My moon, 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.

Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-1973)

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