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FUNERAL BLUES

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

Indeed this has and always will be, one of my favourites. This is how I have interpreted it!

"Stop the world, I want to get off
You ripped out my heart and now I'm bereft
Obfuscate the dog, stick a bone down it's throat,
Display the coffin, allow death to gloat.

Let aeroplanes write across the sky
the message out loud, "He is dead, he has died!"
Adorn the doves, drape bows around their necks
Encourage turmoil, let traffic be mislead.

You meant everything to me
the sun, the moon, the earth and the sea
my inner core is broken
I'm no longer me

"The stars are not wanted now"
THere's no need for hope any more, anyhow.
Nothing more holds promise you see
This melancholy madness, has taken everything from me.

Editing stage: 
Workshop: 

Comments

i got the meaning without being distracted with too many punctuations. The punctuations used here was brilliant. I love this poem and truly glad you posted it. Ii read it out loud and it flowed beautifully. This poem was well written.
this line
Scribbling on the sky the message 'He is Dead'.
Was a dramatic attempt to let the world know of her/his lost. Brilliant poem. I see why it's famous and a favorite of yours.

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Sorry, didn't mean anything 'big' by that... frankly didn't know what to write there. Also, given that it's such a famous poem - I wouldn't want to have to edit it - aside from the fact that it is in the
"quickie critique workshop." IT'S A BEAUTY!!!
Hope that clears it up and you'll come back and take another look! ;)
CHeers
Boni

Bonitaj

author comment

I noticed the not actively editing too, Simply because of your false assumptions on my post " in the cloud" and you posting this poem in this workshop, I look really hard for flaws to critique, but couldn't find any.

*Collaborative Poetry Workshop* American Version of Japanese Poetry ~ Renga ~ Haiku, Senyru, Tanka. All Neopoets welcome to join the Collaborative Poetry Writing Workshop.
https://pixiblogs.blacpixi.com/

putting this in a workshop that specifically says post for editing. Then saying you don't want it edit is not good. Since it is a famous poem you don't want edited, it would have been better to post on the stream then say not actively editing, that way all can read with enjoyment knowing you don't want it edited. Just a thought.
So with that said, I assuming, 'and assumptions is not good' you won't be rewriting it? as this workshop has been designed for us to do.

*Collaborative Poetry Workshop* American Version of Japanese Poetry ~ Renga ~ Haiku, Senyru, Tanka. All Neopoets welcome to join the Collaborative Poetry Writing Workshop.
https://pixiblogs.blacpixi.com/

I don't like the meter. Too much of the poem is very consistent to allow the occasional line to extend clumsily beyond what was patterned.
Also, I assume this is written about a specific person and were we hanging around at the time Auden wrote it we would likely know who he meant. I understand there are two versions of this poem, the first being written satirically about a "political leader" whose name I can't discern.
Troubling that there is nary a hint about the individual or individuals it's concerned with.
As I am a big fan of Auden's, I feel comfortable picking on him a little more mercilessly than some.
So to be unequivocal, dogs can't bark with a juicy bone and this really is a hateful, mean spirited little poem.
Wonder who the poor bastard was.
wesley

W. H. Snow

A poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds. Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Do appreciate your wry sense of humour and comments! I too have come across the reference to it having been written for a "political leader", but having said that, I encountered this piece around the time of losing someone dear, and my reaction to it, has always been a personal, experiential one! Given that I too am a personal fan of Auden and I know all too well of his background and proclivity for intense relationships. I am therefore hard pressed to see it as merely being an intellectual process, since it is so convincingly gut wrenching! This stanza for me, says it all -
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.

Thanks for stopping by!
Will be working on the re-write and submit tomorrow!
Yours
Bonitaj

Bonitaj

author comment

I love this poem sooo much. I am glad you chose it. The meter was a bit too tight to let the last lline fall as it did, but other than that, I love it.

Indeed this has and always will be, one of my favourites. This is how I have interpreted it!

"Stop the world, I want to get off
You ripped out my heart and now I'm bereft
Obfuscate the dog, stick a bone down it's throat,
Display the coffin, allow death to gloat.

Let aeroplanes write across the sky
the message out loud, "He is dead, he has died!"
Adorn the doves, drape bows around their necks
Encourage turmoil, let traffic be mislead.

You meant everything to me
the sun, the moon, the earth and the sea
my inner core is broken
I'm no longer me

"The stars are not wanted now"
THere's no need for hope any more, anyhow.
Nothing more holds promise you see
This melancholy madness, has taken everything from me.

Bonitaj

author comment

read any of Auden's work before, but I really like this guy's satirical sense of humor. I wish he had spent a little more time in getting the meter right. It is like looking at a fine mural of scenery and finding that someone has scribbled in a poorly drawn bird or some such. Just enough of a distraction to make you go back over it to see where the problem is. ~ Gee

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Nice work, but too bad you're dead Auden
i don't know when it was, was it in autumn?

I liked this poem because it was short, packed with images, (love the line "Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves".....which would refer to a public figure in the background).
This is when rhyme is truly used to serve its purpose, and no one can rhyme like the greats. Nice rhyme interpretation, rhythmically, Boni.

Thanks for sharing; I think Auden's poem inspired me, who knows when it will bear fruit?

~A

good of you prolific writers to stop by and comment! Glad to hear that it has inspired you A! Let's see where the road takes you!
Boni

Bonitaj

author comment

N.B. Please post your edit/ re-write as a poem straight after the original in the same box, so we can compare them directly. Do not post as a comment on the thread or on a separate page. Click edit and paste your work in directly after the original poem.

In other words both poems, the original and the edit/rewrite should appear in the post. Sorry if I was unclear

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

i like Auden version better. The images of his lovers death is profound.

This line is my favorite:
Let aeroplanes write across the sky
the message out loud, "He is dead, he has died!"
Adorn the doves, drape bows around their necks
Encourage turmoil, let traffic be mislead.

I see a funneral with all the Beauty of the airplanes writing 'He is Dead' across blue skies with puffy white clouds and it's white streak from the exhaust of the plane etching this message out loud.I can visualize The white doves let loose into the skies over family and friends mourning. The drape bow around the doves neck is brilliant.
As if forever in a moment, everyone watches the doves fly abroad including those in Traffic causing turmoil as drivers read the message above the doves draped bow flight covering the skies above.
That's how I interpret this stanza.. But then this Poem as a whole has more meaning to it such as your interpretation.

*Collaborative Poetry Workshop* American Version of Japanese Poetry ~ Renga ~ Haiku, Senyru, Tanka. All Neopoets welcome to join the Collaborative Poetry Writing Workshop.
https://pixiblogs.blacpixi.com/

I like your interpretation very much and it's clear to see why Auden is the better poet, if he can so incite your imagination!
Appreciate that you could see my "bigger picture" too;)

Bonitaj

author comment

captured the essence and smoothed some rough edges.

My skinhead take on this one-
she's fuckin dead
I'm fucked
everything's fucked

Thanks for your valeable participation.
Any feedback on this workshop or ideas for furure ones please let me know at
http://new.neopoet.com/workshop/critique-quickie

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

It is a "he" that is dead! ;) therefore it is 'I' who is "fooked"! ;)
Hope you're staying dry in the NSW floods!
Thanks for the great workshop!
Boni

Bonitaj

author comment
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