Wednesday, April 11, 2012

National Poetry Month: Stop all the clocks… by W.H. Auden

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.

Such a beautiful, sad tribute to a lost love. So descriptive and full of feeling. The words bring tears to my eyes, especially the third stanza. Have loved this one since '94, when I first heard it in the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Is there a poem that you can't forget or brings you to tears?

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  1. This is one of my favorite poems- so sad but so beautiful.

  2. It's beautiful. She was his everything, deep love.

  3. What a great poem. Thanks so much for joining in the NPM tour!

  4. The loss is felt so deeply in this poem.
    Thanks for posting.

  5. yeah have always loved this & as you say that third Stanza Just kills me with the amount of passion & angst that pours out of it.

    not entirely on the same subject matter but one that deals with love & I find beautiful is from one of my favourite writers, Lawrence Durrell


    Love on a leave-of-abscence came,
    Unmoored the silence like a badge,
    Set free to float on lagging webs
    The swan-black wise unhindered night.

    (Bitter and pathless were the ways
    Of sleep to which such beauty led.)

  6. For all those interested in this classic poem - it is now a song
    click here


Thanks for taking the time to comment! :)