Funeral Blues

For Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #125, where we write about the image below, by Jarmoluk at Actually I ran dry on creating something original, but I thought I would share the famous poem that sprang to mind, Funeral Blues by 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 wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

W H Auden

Beautiful, no?


  1. That is indeed a beautiful poem. It reminds me of when Romeo said ‘I Defy You Stars’ after he finds out that Juliet is dead. That line inspired me to write a poem about grief where the speaker is angry at the sun for still shining, mad at children for still playing outside joyfully, upset at the birds for still chirping, and angry at the world for still turning after their beloved had died.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Unfortunately not, I’ve written entire collections worth of poetry but I’m not that confident when it comes to sharing. I have actually planned to share a poem on my blog for the first time ever though tommorow. Hopefully it will go well and will give me the courage to share more.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I have found people on here are very supportive but, yeah, self-confidence only really came with age for me. Took me until I was about 30 to be comfortable in my skin, I am what I am. (And I make friends anyhow, so it can’t be all bad!) But yeah, try it. I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised – I never really wrote any poetry or flash until about a year ago.

          Liked by 1 person

            • I guess I was lucky in that I was a good communicator already (Mre Bump disagrees 🤣) but I only started writing anything creative maybe 18 months ago. My favourite is flash, but these my silly poems seems to be what everyone likes.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. I first heard this watching “Four Weddings and a Funeral”, never forgot it.  I’m not having a funeral but wish I had known it for my mother’s 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

    Liked by 2 people

    • I suspect that movie gave the poem a lot of coverage. It’s a great form of words, but only really in expressing a pre-existing sentiment. That sentiment would have been there anyhow, whether expressed or not.

      Liked by 1 person

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