Blues for Anne

Stop all the clocks, shut down every phone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the speakers and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let jet planes circle shrieking overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message She Is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the policemen all wear black cotton gloves.

She 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.

(Adapted by Will O’Neil from W. H. Auden’s “Funeral Blues”)