So, when I initially started the project to see how things went, I used this poem to had out in town as flyers. I got a really good response, with a couple of people coming back to ask me about it. I decided though, that it would be better to put the poems out in public without linking myself to them, if that makes sense. I like the idea of someone finding one on their own and being pleased with themselves. This poem means a lot to a lot of people, and anyone that has lost someone would, I think, find it powerful.
I decided to write it out as if it were a letter and hide it in coat pockets in a couple of charity shops on London Road. I thought that, if you bought a jacket and found it in the pocket, it would evoke all sorts of thoughts and feelings. (also, after by brief stint volunteering at Help the Aged when I was a teenager, finding things in the pockets of donated clothes and wondering where they came from was one of the best things ever).
The full poem:
W. H. Auden - Stop all the Clocks
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 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.