Friday, December 14, 2012

Stop all the clocks

This year has been horrible on many levels, not least of which is the senseless loss of life caused by mass shootings.  It's impossible to describe the grief all of us feel, but this poem by W.H. Auden spoke to me, the way that often only poetry and music truly can.

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone

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


  1. This poem always makes me cry! (Maybe because I'm remembering the movie scene?). At any rate, great choice for today.

  2. A very fitting choice for today...

  3. Excellent choice. It has really been an awful year. I'll be glad to see the end of it.

  4. Anonymous12/16/2012

    This is a gorgeous poem and a terrific choice for this weekend. Thank you, Aarti.

  5. I'm not a fan of poetry - at all - but this one chosen is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  6. This poem has always been a favorite of mine. When I'm grieving a loss of any kind it pops into my mind. I hope 2013 holds happier times for you.

  7. Thanks for sharing.

  8. That poem is an excellent choice. Excellent. It's so sad, and that was just a microcosm in a place where it's completely unexpected. I keep thinking of them and of all the little ones who ARE in places where it's almost commonplace.


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