Four Weddings and a Funeral – “Funeral Blues”



John Hannah, playing Matthew, reads WH Auden’s poem “Funeral Blues.” The poem was first published by Auden in 1936 and became famous after it was featured in this film.

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Funeral Blues
WH 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 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.

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40 thoughts on “Four Weddings and a Funeral – “Funeral Blues”

  • August 22, 2017 at 1:56 am
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    Aww such a great funeral sad obviously and so poignant in the 50th year of the gay act

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  • August 22, 2017 at 1:56 am
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    Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,stop the dog barking, it's annoying, pick up the dry- cleaning, clean up the batthroom and wash the bird -poo off the car. Brian Pern. R.I.P.

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  • August 22, 2017 at 1:56 am
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    The sentiment mirrors mine for my sister whom passed away this morning after 2.5 yr treatment for appendiceal cancer.

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  • August 22, 2017 at 1:56 am
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    Talked about this poem during our English lesson, I loved it, and it sounds even better with his accent

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  • August 22, 2017 at 1:56 am
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    It needed a banjo medley to swing it along .   Foggy Mountain Breakdown or similar

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  • August 22, 2017 at 1:56 am
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    Brilliant! I felt this way when I lost both my parents and my younger brother within six months of each other. My adored darling brother died of ALS. At the time I really wanted to "Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun." We all know of course, that good will come to us again but at that moment of sadness.

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  • August 22, 2017 at 1:56 am
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    The stars are not wanted now,'……..'For nothing now can come to any good.' I know the feeling.

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  • August 22, 2017 at 1:56 am
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    This poem gets me every time…it's like it's spoken on a frequency in tune with my tear glands.

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  • August 22, 2017 at 1:56 am
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    Procession blues 
     
     
     
    Pack away the smiles and turn out the light
    stop the laughter of children
    and let the black crows fly
    sweep out the ashes of last night’s fire
    and tell the sun there is no reason
    to rise, because
    she is dead..
    the stars no longer have a purpose
    and either do I  
    let the white doves fly to the moon
    by candle light
    and have the oceans take their
    final roar..
    for the rain understands
    she was that clean wind
    that bellowed within my sails
    that fire that burns on the edge
     of a midnight sky           
    she was my north
    my south
    my everything'
    my unconscious thoughts
    and the reason in my breath
    but now she is dead
    like the autumn leaves caught within
    the goodbye wind..
    and I am now left here alone
    to bleed upon the
    world..
     
     
      – Ken Riccio original poems ©
        All Rights Reserved
        Published London Times

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  • August 22, 2017 at 1:56 am
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    pack up the Moon and dismantle the Sun… cry every time I see this part of the film.

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  • August 22, 2017 at 1:56 am
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    O  T e l l  M e  T h e  T r u t h  A b o u t  L o v e

    Some say that love's a little boy, 
    And some say it's a bird, 
    Some say it makes the world go round,
    Some say that's absurd, 
    And when I asked the man next door, 
    Who looked as if he knew, 
    His wife got very cross indeed, 
    And said it wouldn't do.

    Does it look like a pair of pyjamas, 
    Or the ham in a temperance hotel? 
    Does its odour remind one of llamas, 
    Or has it a comforting smell? 
    Is it prickly to touch as a hedge is, 
    Or soft as eiderdown fluff? 
    Is it sharp or quite smooth at the edges? 
    O tell me the truth about love.

    Our history books refer to it 
    In cryptic little notes, 
    It's quite a common topic on
    The Transatlantic boats; 
    I've found the subject mentioned in
    Accounts of suicides, 
    And even seen it scribbled on
    The backs of railway-guides.

    Does it howl like a hungry Alsatian, 
    Or boom like a military band? 
    Could one give a first-rate imitation
    On a saw or a Steinway Grand? 
    Is its singing at parties a riot? 
    Does it only like Classical stuff? 
    Will it stop when one wants to be quiet? 
    O tell me the truth about love.

    I looked inside the summer-house; 
    It wasn't ever there; 
    I tried the Thames at Maidenhead, 
    And Brighton's bracing air. 
    I don't know what the blackbird sang, 
    Or what the tulip said; 
    But it wasn't in the chicken-run, 
    Or underneath the bed.

    Can it pull extraordinary faces? 
    Is it usually sick on a swing? 
    Does it spend all its time at the races, 
    or fiddling with pieces of string? 
    Has it views of its own about money? 
    Does it think Patriotism enough? 
    Are its stories vulgar but funny? 
    O tell me the truth about love.

    When it comes, will it come without warning,
    Just as I'm picking my nose? 
    Will it knock on my door in the morning, 
    Or tread in the bus on my toes? 
    Will it come like a change in the weather? 
    Will its greeting be courteous or rough? 
    Will it alter my life altogether? 
    O tell me the truth about love. 

    — W.H. Auden

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  • August 22, 2017 at 1:56 am
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    What's saddest about this clip is that they didn't feel that they could tell people how much that they loved each other until he was dead…

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  • August 22, 2017 at 1:56 am
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    I recited this for english 🙁 the room was with Awkward silence for 5 minutes after that, Just silence, no clapps or anything, just silence, no chairs moving or whispers in the distance, just silence

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