Whilst giving my poet’s brain some dozing time this weekend, I am looking to two of my wordsmith heroes and pilfering their greatness for my post. From one of the masters of verse, W. H Auden, comes the poem ‘Funeral Blues’, which I first heard as a ten year old that, for some reason, after having taped it on my new VHS recorder in my bedroom, had a fondness for Richard Curtis’ Four Weddings and a Funeral.
If I could ever dream of writing a poem so fine I could only wish for it to be read so well…
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.