Thursday, October 13, 2011

While we're on the topic of poetry... another one of the voice students I work with brought a song in with some poetry that hit home. I just looked it up online and found it at a website that features "Popular Funeral Poetry", a category that for some reason I find amusing. (I do have an affinity for "black humour" at times, so please forgive me).
Anyway, it is indeed a lovely lyric, so I share it with you here:

If I should die and leave you here awhile,
be not like others, sore undone, who keep
long vigils by the silent dust, and weep.
For my sake, turn again to life and smile,
nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do
something to comfort weaker hearts than thine.
Complete those dear unfinished tasks of mine,
and I perchance may therein comfort you.
- Mary Lee Hall

This puts me in mind of another poem along the same lines, and again written by a Mary-three-names:

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep,
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the Diamond glints on snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle Autumn rain
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quite birds in circled flight
I am the soft stars that shine at night
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there, I did not die
- Mary Elizabeth Frye
This second poem was set by Canadian composer, Eleanor Daley as part of her Requiem...a beautiful choral piece:

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