Monday, April 25, 2011

Do Not Stand Bereft

A Somber Feline Visitor at the
Gravesite of English Poet John Keats
at the Protestant Cemetery in Rome

Do not stand at my grave and weep
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,

I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave bereft
I am not there. I have not left.

by Mary Elizabeth Frye, 1905 - 2004

This is one of those poems like the "Desiderata" whose format and authorship have apparently been unclear for some time (click on title above). According to wikipedia, it was finally confirmed, in 1998, that the definitive version was written by Frye in 1932.

You must also listen to this absolutely beautiful version
as sung by Libera on their CD free:

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.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.

Official Libera website:

This post would not be complete without the inclusion of Oscar Wilde's beautiful tribute to the "Young English Poet" whose "Name was writ in Water":

The Grave of Keats
Rid of the world’s injustice, and his pain,
He rests at last beneath God’s veil of blue:
Taken from life when life and love were new
The youngest of the martyrs here is lain,

Fair as Sebastian, and as early slain.
No cypress shades his grave, no funeral yew,
But gentle violets weeping with the dew
Weave on his bones an ever-blossoming chain.

O proudest heart that broke for misery!
O sweetest lips since those of Mitylene!
O poet-painter of our English Land!
Thy name was writ in water——it shall stand:

And tears like mine will keep thy memory green,
As Isabella did her Basil-tree.*

written in 1881
by Oscar Wilde, 1854–1900
Prolific, witty Irish poet and playwright

Oscar Wilde's Tomb in Paris ~ in Père Lachaise Cemetery
Wikipedia photograph by Jacob Epstein

*On the topic of Isabella, please check out
my earlier blog post:
"Sweet Basil Evermore"

No comments:

Post a Comment