Writing a Funeral Poem

One of the hardest challenges of being a writer is the pressure of improving or adding to something that already exists.

I have always wanted to write a funeral poem that best represents my feelings about death but avoids the almost unavoidable cliché and tries not to repeat what many others have already said on the subject.

When a friend of mine died a couple of years ago I decided I would write him something. It would be personal and accessible. I hoped it would also be quite beautiful. To be read at his funeral or anyone’s.

I didn’t manage it.

Months later I re-discovered a letter written to my aunt by a friend of hers. He was dying and wrote to tell her that he would never see her again. It was both sad and beautiful. It was goodbye. It was evaluative. It was poignant. The final phrase he used was “Think of me sometimes”and I remember instantly being struck by that.

I played about with the phrase for a few weeks and at the same time I was looking for a way to finish my book. I used a similar line.

Remember me Sometimes.

It took many hours of editing and rewriting before I was happy with the poem. It is a simple poem with simple imagery. A simple goodbye.

 

From Parhelion

 

It is too quick: this life.

But in this rush to live

should we not tend to soft goodbyes

remember me sometimes

 

and I will be there.

It may be brief:

in signatures of grass after the rain,

or the trades of light when a sunset ends.

 

The moon and sun are friends

that come and go daily.

 

So when it is time, please think of me

Somewhere by the plane’s threaded line

put my voice to these words

and remember me sometimes.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s