Recommendations from RevGals
- Death is Nothing at All – Henry Scott Holland
- Gone From My Sight! by Henry Van Dyke
- Let Evening Come – Jane Kenyon
- The Eagle – e.e. cummings
- After Apple-Picking – Robert Frost
- Crossing the Bar – Alfred, Lord Tennyson
- Home – Edgar Albert Guest
- When Death Comes – Mary Oliver
- Funeral Blues – W.H. Auden (see video below)
- Death Be Not Proud – John Donne
- Ithaka – C.P. Cavafy
- Remember – Christina Rossetti
- They that love beyond the World – William Penn
- Otherwise – Jane Kenyon
- In Blackwater Woods – Mary Oliver
- The Dash – Linda Ellis
6 thoughts on “Poetry for a Funeral”
Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep (Mary Elizabeth Frye)
I would like to read a poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye, written in 1932, for a young German Jewish woman, Margaret Schwarzkopf, who was staying with her and her husband. When Margaret’s mother fell in and died she was distraught that it was not safe to return to Germany. The heartbroken young woman told Frye that she never had the chance to “stand by my mother’s grave and shed a tear”. Frye found herself composing a piece of verse on a brown paper shopping bag. Later she said that the words “just came to her” and expressed what she felt about life and death.
This reminds us that death is not all there is:
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 quiet 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.
This work has been included in many funerals and memorial services as well as rituals of remembrance for those who have succumb to depression and chosen to leave this world behind.
by: Rev. “Twinkle” Marie Manning
Beholding herself in the mirror
Cannot always see what the rest of us so clearly can.
Her eyes trained by the hand of experience cruel
Fails to see in the peripheral of life.
She sees only what she perceives before her;
And it is clouded.
Forgetting to wipe the misty fog off the mirror,
She turns away, still not knowing the beauty she is.
Yet Beauty she remains
And will ever be held so in our memory’s eye.