Friday, 14 May 2010

Stop all the clocks - 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 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.

-W.H. Auden (1907-1973)


  1. It is a wonderful poem, that.

  2. It is, yes. It was read tonight at a memorial for TV presenter and director Kristian Digby, at which I was singing with my choir.

  3. its my favourite poem in the whole wide world; i'll be having that read at the celebration of my life too :-)

  4. It's a great piece of work.

    When I read the words, I have the actor John Hannah's voice in my head, from when he recited it in the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral. One of the very few times, where a movie has used poetry well.


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