If I had a favourite poet, Auden would be it. Or Whitman. But definitely Auden.
This is maybe the
best most true thing about grief that has ever been written. Oddly, maybe, I found my feelings about the US election results tonight reminded me, a bit, of my feelings of grief when my mum died. That feeling that the world has been lessened, immeasurably—that a light has dimmed—yet on the outside, everyone is acting as if things are normal.
Anyway, it describes perfectly how I feel.
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.
Stop all the clocks.