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"Chronicle Groupie"
Hyperion September 13, 2001

#61 In Remembrance

I wrote Column # 60 Monday night, but was too tired to edit it, and so I left the work with the thought of sending it out Tuesday afternoon. After the events of the past few days, I no longer think #60 is appropriate at this time. If you are not squeamish, you can write and personally ask me to send it to you, or wait until such a time as I feel all my readers can handle it.

Instead, I am doing something I have never done before, giving you the words of another. I have tried to write the sentiment I feel about this week, and have been unsatisfied with my attempts. So, I turn to a man who is a bit better at it than I am. W. H. Auden wrote the following after the death of a close friend. I realize it is important to move on in life, but it is equally important to give pause to consider our thoughts, our grief, our “quiet unyielding anger.” In that spirit, I offer the poem below, as Auden best describes the sorrow I feel, and perhaps the sorrow you feel as well. I have analysis, but for now let this emotion suffice.

September 13, 2001


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 airplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead.
Put crêpe 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 wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good

-W. H. Auden


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