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Do not Stand at my Grave and Weep -- Mary Frye

Guest poem sent in by Vijay
(Poem #1704) 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 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 and cry,
 I am not there -- I do not die.
-- Mary Frye
         (1932)

Last night, having watered the plants, my Swiss flatmate and I were standing
in our terrace garden looking at the stars, with Zurich shimmering on one
side and a mountain on the other. He amazed me completely by reciting this
poem. The poem was written on a tombstone in the cemetry he used to pass
everyday on his way to primary school. He (and apparently quite a few other
kids from his school) unconsciously memorised the poem. Some poems you
memorise somehow become yours, so here's me submitting his poem to your
brilliant theme!

Vijay.

[Notes]

Representative Poetry Online notes that there are two distinct versions of the
poem floating around, and explains:
    Version 1 may be what the Federal Printing Press produced as a postcard
    for Margaret Scharzkopf's parents' friends. It differs from Version 2,
    claimed by Frye in 2000 as her original, to judge by what she read from
    that for Kelly Ryan on the Ideas interview, lines 11-14 and the present
    tense "do" in line 16.

You can see both versions up at
  http://eir.library.utoronto.ca/rpo/display/poem2670.html

31 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Harold Pohl said...

This poem has some excellent lines - notably, the first six - and is only a few words away from being entirely excellent.

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