Wednesday, February 21, 2007

W. H. Auden

Wystan Hugh Auden was born 100 years ago today in York. This most brilliant of 20th century English poets presented us with what is perhaps the most poignant poem ever written about the pain of love severed by death.

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.

To W.H. Auden

1 comment:

Marci B. said...

An amazing and haunting poem. Thank you so much for sharing it. I will have to copy it down for my own collection. Keep it up :)