April 17, 2007
W.H. Auden: Untitled (“Stop all the clocks…”)
This poem has had a special place in my heart ever since I first saw Four Weddings and A Funeral (oh, how do I love John Hannah…); today, however, I dedicate it to those who lost loved ones in yesterday’s shooting in Virginia. My heart is with you.
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 crêpe 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, ca. 1936