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The Incredible Michael Des Barres & Funeral Blues

Hey y’all! Hope you are having a great Friday so far. Mine isn’t bad, but it will definitely get better in a few hours. Yesterday, though, was fantastic! I had a short Twitter chat with the incredible Michael Des Barres. You guys, he is awesome. I was stunned into a bit of cheekiness I’m afraid, and he was sweet and kind.

If you do not know Michael Des Barres you should go google him. He is an actor (MacGyver, Mulholland Drive), a singer (The Knack and Power Station), and a broadcaster. I am bringing this all up because I thought it’d be cool to feature his site: Michael Des Barres. You should go check it out, and follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook. The man is still just as awesome as ever!

As for today’s Featured Poem, I’ve decided on Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden. I know it’s kind of a downer for you on a day like today, but this poem got me through most of the worst days after my dad’s passing. A few weeks before I even knew he had started going downhill, I had checked out several books of poetry. I was reading them slowly, taking my time with each one, even my favorites. This one seemed familiar when I came across it. I could not remember why, though. It tickled at the back of my brain for a bit, but  I got sidetracked and forgot about it. Sometime before At some point, I don’t remember how or from where, I became aware of The Love Book app. I downloaded it the day my dad died although, there was no way I could listen or read the poem that night. It wasn’t until the next day, when I felt I was suffocating on the inside, that I listened to the poem. Suddenly, I remembered where I had heard it from. I don’t know why it took me hearing someone else read it, but I was immediately taken back to Four Weddings and a Funeral and the wonderful John Hannah reciting this in that movie. I cried until I just couldn’t cry anymore and then I went to bed, falling asleep listening to Auden’s poem over and over again. I alternated back and forth between The Love Book App and John Hannah’s scene on YouTube. Between that and my music, I got through that first week, and the next, and the next.

It is the most heart-rending poem for me. I read it, or hear it, and I am taken right back to the day after my dad passed away. It helped me breathe when I couldn’t. It helped me cry the pain out of my soul. This is what poetry is for sometimes. It was partly responsible for getting me to write my poetry again. So, today this is my featured poem. I am putting up John Hannah’s recitation from the movie as well. Poetry should be heard, I think, to gain an even deeper understanding of the emotion inherent in it.

xo Jess

Funeral Blues 

By W.H. Auden

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 aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling in 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.



Jesi Kay
Jesi Kay, poet and aspiring novelist, was born in the Texas panhandle where wide skies, lazy summer days, and rolling thunderstorms sparked her imagination and left lasting memories in her blood. An early reader, poetry and mythology were her passions. So much so that when she was ten years old her step-father gave her his college mythology textbooks to read, which were full of classic poetry and more than enough tales to fill her romantic and inquisitive nature. Jesi loves reading, art, going to the theater, the romanticism of the Victorian era (but not the missing conveniences of indoor plumbing and central air conditioning), running when the heat and humidity cooperate, and cold weather so she can wear her favorite boots and knitwear. Also, she still has those college mythology textbooks, a little worse for wear over time but still intact and telling their stories to her. Jesi is a contributor at The Well Tempered Bards blog and at www.octpowrimo.com.

2 Replies to “The Incredible Michael Des Barres & Funeral Blues

  1. I love Auden. And that scene in Four Weddings & a Funeral makes me cry everytime. John Hannah is always what I hear when I read this one. Even though the fantastic Tom Hiddleston reads it on the Love Book app, that poem is that scene and Hannah to me.

    Oh and tweeting De Barres was hilarious – he was cool!!

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