Stop all the clocks

This is one of my favourite poems and goes some way in expressing the frustration one feels at the loss of a loved one

Stop all the clocks (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 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. 

(Troubadour)

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7 thoughts on “Stop all the clocks”

  1. I’m taking a world literature class right now. Our focus is on the heroic journey. In heroic epics, since the beginning of written history, the hero must ALWAYS- without exception, experience loss. I think this is because loss and greiving are simply part of the human experience- even the heroe’s experience, no exceptions. Your poem, much like the story of Gilgamesh, manages to acurately depict the intense emotion that every one of has felt or will eventually feel. You did it in a beautifull and hearfelt way. You are a wonderfull poet!

  2. Oops, just noticed several spelling errors ( I hope you all will forgive my slight dyslexia) and I also noticed that the poem wasnt written by you? Sorry about that. It is a very lovely poem though.

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