Posts Tagged ‘Death’

Stop All The Clocks

Wystan Hugh Auden who published as W. H. Auden, was an American poet. He was regarded by many as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. His work is noted for its stylistic and technical poetic form, the engagement with moral and political issues, and its variety of tone and content.

The central themes of his poetry are love, politics and citizenship, religion and morals, and the relationship between unique human beings and the anonymous, impersonal world of nature.

Throughout his career he was both controversial and influential. After his death, some of his poems, particularly Stop all the clocks became widely known through films, broadcasts and popular media. This poem is a ‘favourite’ at funerals and was also made known in the classic movie Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Now, for those of you who don’t have pets this is going to sound really trite, for those of you who do have pets you will completely understand.  Our 19-year-old cat Archie Andrews passed away this week .  Our whole family are very upset and are grieving.  I’ve discovered that the death of a family pet is much more than just the grief around losing a pet – it requires us to confront our own mortality and feel things that we just don’t want to face.  We’ll work through this and our grief, but for now it’s really painful and really raw.  Here’s W H Auden’s classic poem – I don’t really agree with where he ends up with it – but right now it’s pretty accurate. 

Stop all the clocks

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.

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Carry Me

Carry me away
Through your prayers,
Carry me away
Through your grief.

Carry me away
Through the carnage,
Carry me away
I want to meet with You.

Carry me away
This broken shell I cast aside,
Carry me away
My soul longs to embrace You.

Carry me away
Through the wreckage of my life,
Carry me away
So I may abide with You.

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