March 20, 2008

W.H. Auden - Funeral Blues

It's coming on your birthday as I recall. I write you less often now, suppose there isn't much left to say anymore. Or there is, but it doesn't matter. Are you well, wherever you are and whatever you're doing? If I could find out, I'd hope so.

Every seven years or so, all our cells and their materials are replaced from what they were. So no matter what, we disappear over and over again, even while we're alive. Our cells go through their programmed cycles of death, apoptosis, which does indeed sound like it had ought to be some sort of Egyptian deity, and yet the pattern of the whole is supposed to remain. Until the day it doesn't, and what changes then, who can know for sure?

I remember seeing the one-man play, Buckminster Fuller: The History and Myster of the Universe, at the Intiman a few years ago. It's based on Fuller's writings and speeches and presented as if Fuller himself were addressing the audience; it was mesmerizing. But at one point, the man playing Fuller takes out three different pieces of cord and rope that have been connected together into one. He makes a knot at one end, and talks through moving the knot along the first rope to the second, is it still the same knot? Then from the second to the third, and from that cord the knot moves to the end and is ... what?

So for whatever reason, I was reminded of this poem, and then of you, because I thought you'd find it amusing. Nothing more entertaining than setting loose a couple of maudlin elder goths with just the right concentration of anti-migraine drugs coursing through their veins. Heh. Some people need too many props in order to have a good time, the poor bastards.

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 woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Posted by natasha at March 20, 2008 06:21 PM | Entertainment | Technorati links |