Funeral Poems, Readings, Music, Quotations & Thoughts

Three Silent Things

Not silent things but three of the strange and beautiful 'cinquains' written by Adelaide Crapsey before her death from tuberculosis in 1914 aged 36. Each short abstract poem is of five lines, growing in length and falling back on the fifth line like an exhalation. The picture shows her in her patient's gown in the sanatorium at Saranac Lake, New [...] Read more

Stop All the Clocks

Everybody knows the beautiful poem 'Funeral Blues' by W H Auden used in Four Weddings and a Funeral. Nobody can read it as well as John Hannah did, but here it is recorded as a song by Nemo Shaw.

Her laughter was better than birds in the morning

A short poem by the former poet laureate Cecil Day Lewis. I have heard it used for a man with 'her' read as 'his' and 'she' as 'he'. Her laughter was better than birds in the morning, Her smile turned the edge of the wind, Her memory disarms death and charms the surly grave. Early she went to bed, too early we Saw her light put out; yet we could [...] Read more

Noel Coward's last Poem

Noel Coward stayed in Jamaica with Ian Fleming in the 1940s and enjoyed his time there so much that he first bought a home there and then built himself a new house called Firefly overlooking the sea on the North Coast. For many years he spent the winter months in Jamaica and then stayed most of the year round as he got older. He loved the climate [...] Read more

I Wish You Were Here, Dear

Joseph Brodsky was put on trial in his native Russia for 'Social Parasitism' in the 1970s and imprisoned and sent to Siberia for hard labour for his conviction that he had a calling as a poet. He finally fled to the West and was awarded a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1987. Here he reads a late poem, written in English. A Song I wish you were [...] Read more