One of W.H. Auden best known poems “Funeral Blues” in its second (shorter) and changed version. We are still searching for the original version with five stanzas which Auden wrote together with Christopher Isherwood in 1936.
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.
Wystan Hugh Auden, 1907 – 1973, Funeral Blues
W.H. Auden at Wikipedia
- Quote of the day: Funerals
- Quote of the day: Trouble
- Quote of the day: Life
- Quote of the day: The Myth of Sisyphus
No matter how rich you become, how famous or powerful, when you die the size of your funeral will still pretty much depend on the weather.
Michael Pritchard aka Mike Dirnt, 1972 – musician
To all of you who still remember humanistic ideas and believe that ethics differentiate us from the hairy things living on trees, may today be a long time jubilee for you or not… ..if trouble’s coming your way, just keep on smiling and say – it will not matter – a hundred years from today… [...]
The following lines were found at Derzhavin’s table after his death:
The current of Time’s river
Will carry off all human deeds
And sink into oblivion
All peoples, kingdoms and their kings.
And if there’s something that remains
Through sounds of horn and lyre,
It too will disappear into the maw of time
And not avoid the common pyre… (lines broken)
Gavriil (Gavrila) Romanovich Derzhavin, 1743 – 1816, Russian poet
I see many people die because they judge that life is not worth living. I see others paradoxically getting killed for the ideas or illusions that give them a reason for living (what is called a reason for living is also an excellent reason for dying). I therefore conclude that the meaning of life is the most urgent of questions.
Albert Camus, 1913 – 1960, The Myth of Sisyphus