Funeral Blues. 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 woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

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6 thoughts on “Funeral Blues. W.H. Auden

  1. You really are in tune with my mood luca. I like the sing-song rhythm of this piece, like a lullaby for the dead. Recently me and fedra were talking about the need of a dialogue with the dead (George Lamming came into my mind, Toni Morriso to hers), to ease the pain but also to negotiate our identity. It is weird that in our case the dead was not dead, but just gone…as the last verse of the last but one stanza may imply. But still, death comes in many forms.

  2. What a great choice! Thanks Luca!
    The return of the dead…
    As Lunatagliente just said, me and her have recently spoken about the dialogue with the dead. Paganism, as well as earlier cultures , regared the dialogue with the dead as crucial for one’s personal development. (Interpellare i penati nei momenti critici). I dare suggesting Freud’s ‘the return of the repressed’. Haunting memories, unsolved issues spring back from the oblivion where we desperately attempt to relegate them. This text deals with a loss, a beravement; time stops, the sun and the moon are packed away, while the I realizes that its ‘North and South, East and West’ are gone, is gone. ‘Funeral Blues’ is tragic anagnorisis of a narrating I dealing with a loss; after the stage of denial, realization comes as a lament, a blues.

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