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Funeral Blues

This poem by W.H. Auden is a popular choice for funerals and can be recited in memory of a dad, mum or granddad or nan. It is a moving evocation of how nothing can reduce the pain after a loved one dies. This poem was originally written in the 1930s, but became much more well known after John Hannah’s character, Matthew, recited it in the 1994 film ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral.’

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.


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