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Poem My Mom Shared With Me : Funeral Blues By W.h. Auden


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Funeral Blues

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 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.

-- W.H. Auden

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Lina, my dear, I first heard this poem when it was recited by actor John Hannah playing Matthew in a scene during the 1994 movie, Four Weddings and a Funeral. As I sat there in the dark listening to the words, it took my breath away, and when I left the theater I made it my mission to find the poem so I could "have" it and read it again. I later found it in a collection of W.H. Auden's poetry. Now, of course, it can be found on the Internet simply by searching for it via Google. You might like to watch the scene from the movie on YouTube, here:

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Nothing now can come to any good is how I feel every minute. Every time I am asked to do anything or try to do anything I just am thinking What is the point? Nothing matters at all. I know I am loved and mustn't show these feelings. I try to put a brave face on for the world (and the family) but its just a facade. I can only hope that eventually I will find some purpose and meaning in a lif without my beloved Pete.

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Nothing now can come to any good is how I feel every minute. Every time I am asked to do anything or try to do anything I just am thinking What is the point? Nothing matters at all. I know I am loved and mustn't show these feelings. I try to put a brave face on for the world (and the family) but its just a facade. I can only hope that eventually I will find some purpose and meaning in a lif without my beloved Pete.

It seems to me, Jan, that that is what the world expects of us - 'put a brave face on'. We read and listen to all the accolades but it just isn't there for some of us. Our spouses were our 'North, South, East, and West' as the poem states - and perhaps we will begin to see hope - just not now. I don't know if I'll ever 'survive' the loss of Jim. Anne

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I really relate to the "He was my North, my South, my East, my West"...in the last seven years I've had to be my own compass, what a journey it's been! This poem was posted here quite a while ago, and so was the video, it really spoke to me. What a poignant rendition!

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