Tag Archives: National Poetry Month

“Funeral Blues,” by W. H. Auden

April is National Poetry Month.  If you are staying at home (which you absolutely should be), it seems like a perfect time to reacquaint yourself with some old favorites or find some new ones.

You guys know that I run plenty of Auden on this blog — but I don’t remember having ever run this one.



“Funeral Blues,” by W. H. Auden

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.



Photo credit: Wellcome Library, London