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A suitable poem for a funeral?

 
 
Reply Mon 21 May, 2007 09:42 am
I am looking for a suitable (non-religious) poem for a funeral of a relative of mine. I am not that well up on literature and not sure where to start.

He would have liked something maybe about gardening or involving gardening / garden life themes.

Can anyone help with that?

Many thanks.
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Tico
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2007 10:19 am
There are many poetry sites, but one that I've found easy to use is PoemHunter.com (just add the www in front). There's a search window that you can put in "garden" or whatever and then click the "Poem Text" button.

If you find something, and are willing to share by posting it here, I'd love to see what you select. Good luck.
0 Replies
 
Dorothy Parker
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2007 11:00 am
Thank you Tico, I will check it out.
0 Replies
 
Treya
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2007 02:36 pm
Re: A suitable poem for a funeral?
Dorothy Parker wrote:
I am looking for a suitable (non-religious) poem for a funeral of a relative of mine. I am not that well up on literature and not sure where to start.

He would have liked something maybe about gardening or involving gardening / garden life themes.

Can anyone help with that?

Many thanks.


I'm not sure if this is what you are looking for but I wrote this about eight months ago and you are more than welcome to use it if it suits your purpose:

http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=83033&highlight=
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2007 02:54 pm
Hi Dorothy,

My condolences on your loss.

Here are a few gardening-related poems I selected that may be appropriate. You might need to do a little tweaking to change the gender or name of relative.



Memorial

I've had the garden tidied up,
As she would have me do.
This little pal who couldn't stay
To see the season through.
The flowers were her dearest friends,
The garden was her own,
I've watched her work, but never knew
The things that she had grown.
Her, catalogues keep coming, and
Her garden magazine;
I run across the queerest names,
And study what they mean,
I read them all, from end to end,
And when the spring is here,
I'll have a garden just like hers,
As though my wife were near.
Albert H. PEDRICK



The Garden

Across the road a garden grew,
And bent among the flowers,
A spare old man stooped to his task
Or he sat and dreamed for hours.

He had slaved away his early youth
In a pharmacy day and night.
A pallid drudge year in, year out,
He was starved for color and light.

He had no time for romance,
He grew to shun mankind.
Too stingy to spend emotion,
He closed his heart and mind.

He reaped the fruits of frustration,
In that dull round of care.
A life out of doors, the learned man said,
Might bring surcease from despair.

The gay nasturtiums stirred his heart,
Velvet dahlias woke his pride
The roses he loved like children,
The lily was his bride.

He left this mortal plane long since,
But the garden calls him still:
He walks there when the moon is low,
A bent form, dim and chill.
-FRANCES STRAWN LIVINGSTON



Day's End

The twilight comes to cool the. air,
The shadows lengthen on the sod,
Soft breezes blow the garden through,
The leaves and blossoms sway and nod.

On garden path, in sheltering hedge,
In treetops dark and cloudless sky,
The evening birds awake to life,
To stir; to sing and upward fly.
And flowers, warm with summer heat,
Expand to greet the softened light
And shed, to show their gratitude,
A fragrance in the summer night.
Now all is peace. From meadows near
A cooling mist blows o'er the wall
And strangely lonesome in the night
There comes the thrush's silvery call.
-EDWIN W. PROCTOR



The Gardener's Morning

The robin's song at daybreak
Is a clarion call to me.Get up and get out in the garden,
For the morning hours flee.

I cannot resist the summons,
What earnest gardener could?
For the golden hours of morning
Get into the gardener's blood.

The magic spell is upon me,
I'm glad that I did not wait;
For life's at its best in the morning,
As you pass through the garden gate.
- Howard Dolf



Vespers

The golden sun has gone, the busy day is done.
Twilight has come and with it peace draws near
To dwell an hour .within my garden walls, while in
The lambent sky the first pale stars appear.
The wheeling shadows that so slowly marked the hours
Have left no impress on the tender grass,
Nor does the air hold fast the patterns bold and free
That winging birds weave as the warm days pass.
The rued pool is stilled at last, and Lily buds
Prepare to open gently to the night
And to the questing moth whose fragile, gauzy wings
Quiver too rapidly for human sight.
In. this tranquillity, touch, hearing, sight are lulled.
I am as selfless as the scented airs
That wrap me round, while daylight's drowsy flowers
Send out the fragrance of? their vesper prayers.
-MARIE NETTLETON CARROLL


Weeder's Thoughts

I have raked the soil and planted the seeds
Now I've joined the army that fights the weeds.
For me no flashing saber and sword,
To battle the swiftly marching horde;
With a valiant heart I fight the foe,
My only weapon a trusty hoe.
No martial music to swing me along,
I march to the robin redbreast song.
No stirring anthem of bugle and drum
But the cricket's chirp and the honey bee's hum.
No anti-aircraft or siren yell
But there's Trumpet-creeper and Lily-bell.
With a loving heart and a sturdy hand,
I defend the borders of flower-land;
While high over Larkspur and Leopardsbane,
A butterfly pilots his tiny plane;
But I shall not fear his skillful hand,
My enemy charges only by land.
Would those who lead nations in war and hate
But lay down their guns at some garden gate,
There, bury- their bombs and their bloody deeds,
And join the grand army that's fighting the weeds.
-ALMA B. Eymann



Reverie

A warm and cheery fire roars merrily
And shadows dance about the darkened room.
Beside the hearth a gardener sits and dreams
Of sunny days, of flowers in full bloom.
Some hollyhocks should tower near the fence,
Bright red. ones that the bees can't help but find.
The trellis at the gate again must wear
Blue morning glories, or the rosy kind.
To lend a bit of distance to the scene,
Close to the rear I'll plant in shades of blue:
The tall and stately larkspur, double ones­
Of course I'll put in scabiosa, too.
I couldn't do without a pansy bed­
Snapdragons make such beautiful bouquets­
Frilled zinnias and yellow marigolds
Add just the proper touch to autumn days.
The flowers grow and bloom with loveliness
Until a sound destroys the fantasy­
A burning ember falls and I must leave
My garden and my charming reverie.
-HELEN BATH SWANSON

Evening Hours

The dusk has little gateways
That lead to pleasant homes
Enveloped in the soft light
Before the darkness comes.

Each home is in a garden
Alight with vivid blooms,
And there are fragrant posies
In all the restful rooms.

They are so cool and quiet,
After the hectic day,
After the crowded hours
That rush us on our way.

They are the little havens
Where we may turn to sit
And rest us in a leisure
The day could not permit.
-ELLA C.Forbes



The Glory of the Garden by Rudyard Kipling

Our England is a garden that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With statues on the terraces and pea****s strutting by;
But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye.

For where the old thick laurels grow, along the thin red wall,
You will find the tool- and potting-sheds which are the heart of all;
The cold-frames and the hot-houses, the dungpits and the tanks:
The rollers, carts and drain-pipes, with the barrows and the planks.

And there you'll see the gardeners, the men and 'prentice boys
Told off to do as they are bid and do it without noise;
For, except when seeds are planted and we shout to scare the birds,
The Glory of the Garden it abideth not in words.

And some can pot begonias and some can bud a rose,
And some are hardly fit to trust with anything that grows;
But they can roll and trim the lawns and sift the sand and loam,
For the Glory of the Garden occupieth all who come.

Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing:--"Oh, how beautiful!" and sitting in the shade,
While better men than we go out and start their working lives
At grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives.

There's not a pair of legs so thin, there's not a head so thick,
There's not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick.
But it can find some needful job that's crying to be done,
For the Glory of the Garden glorifieth every one.

Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,
If it's only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders;
And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner in the Glory of the Garden.

Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener's work is done upon his knees,
So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
For the Glory of the Garden, that it may not pass away!
And the Glory of the Garden it shall never pass away!
Unknown


Garden Meditation
by Rev. Max Coots

Let us give thanks for a bounty of people.

For children who are our second planting, and though they
grow like weeds and the wind too soon blows them away, may
they forgive us our cultivation and fondly remember where
their roots are.

Let us give thanks;

For generous friends...with hearts...and smiles as bright
as their blossoms;

For feisty friends, as tart as apples;

For continuous friends, who, like scallions and cucumbers,
keep reminding us that we've had them;

For crotchety friends, sour as rhubarb and as indestructible;

For handsome friends, who are as gorgeous as eggplants and
as elegant as a row of corn, and the others, as plain as
potatoes and so good for you;

For funny friends, who are as silly as Brussels sprouts and
as amusing as Jerusalem artichokes;

And serious friends as unpretentious as cabbages, as subtle
as summer squash, as persistent as parsley, as delightful as
dill, as endless as zucchini and who, like parsnips, can be
counted on to see you through the winter;

For old friends, nodding like sunflowers in the evening-time,
and young friends coming on as fast as radishes;

For loving friends, who wind around us like tendrils and hold
us, despite our blights, wilts and witherings;

And finally, for those friends now gone, like gardens past
that have been harvested, but who fed us in their times that
we might have life thereafter.

For all these we give thanks.



I Did Not Die

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's 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 star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there;
I did not die.
- Anon -



Our Father's Garden

Our Father kept a garden.
A garden of the heart;
He planted all the good things,
That gave our lives their start.
He turned us to the sunshine,
And encouraged us to dream:
Fostering and nurturing the seeds of self-esteem.
And when the winds and rain came,
He protected us enough;
But not too much because she knew
We would stand up strong and tough.
His constant good example,
Always taught us right from wrong;
Markers for our pathway that will last
a lifetime long.
We are our Fathers garden,
We are his legacy.
Thank you Dad we love you.
-Unknown
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 May, 2007 05:30 pm
At my grandfather's funeral, in 1973, Dylan Thomas's And Death Shall Have no Dominion was read by my mother. I was only 10 years old but I have never forgotten it.

Quote:
And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.


Condolences to you and yours, Dorothy.
0 Replies
 
Dorothy Parker
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 May, 2007 10:08 am
Many many thanks to you all for helping me and suggesting all these beautiful poems. They have been making me cry.

I will share them with my family so we can decide which would be suitable. The funeral is on Friday.

Much much appreciated - thank you.

xxx
StripedTabbyCat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 08:17 pm
My sincerest condolences, I am sorry for your loss and I hope I'm not too late to help you find a funeral poem. There are a few good funeral readings at this website:
http://www.obituarieshelp.org/funeral_readings_hub.html
and another good selection of eulogy poems too:
http://www.obituarieshelp.org/eulogy_poems_samples_hub.html

I had to write a eulogy for my aunt and I found this article really helpful:
http://www.obituarieshelp.org/articles/how_do_i_write_a_eulogy.html

I hope this helps.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Mar, 2010 09:06 pm
@Dorothy Parker,
It isn't a garden one, and it's kind of passe because they did it in Four Weddings and a Funeral, but it's my favourite modern mourning poem:

Funeral Blues
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 on the sky the message He is Dead,
Put crépe 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.
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