Friday, April 10, 2009

Stop All the Clocks...

I thought this poem by Auden, originally entitled "Funeral Blues" but later left untitled, would be appropriate for Good Friday:

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 of the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to good.

Now as recited by the actor John Hannah ("Matthew") in the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral, which made the poem famous for a broader audience:

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