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 in the sky the message He is Dead,
Put crêpe 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.
WH Auden 1938
I first heard this poem on the film, Four Weddings and a Funeral, which undoubtedly made it a very famous poem! But it inspired me to investigate Auden!
For me, the images in this are so concrete, the grief is enormous! But the most poignant line, in this poem is “He was my north, my South, my East and West!” Wouldn’t it be so easy to have said, “He was my world!” ?
Happy reading today!