by Neil Astley (editor) - £7.99 Bloodaxe Books (2003)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781852246358 | ISBN 10: 1852246359
This wide-ranging selection combines popular choices of traditional poems read at funerals with powerful poems by contemporary writers more tuned to our present age of doubt & disbelief.. There are poems here for churchgoers and believers, including classic verses of grief and consolation by John Donne, Christina Rossetti, Emily Dickinson, the anonymous Do not stand at my grave and weep, and the poems read at Princess Diana's funeral. But there are also poems for people of all faiths and religions, for agnostics and atheists, and most importantly for those who aren't sure what they believe, whose grief is the more intense for not knowing what happens to the soul after death. Grief is experienced and made more bearable by being put into memorable words. Searing poems of lament are followed by movin g elegies celebrating the lives of those we will always love. Whether and how the spirit survives is then explored in poems by writers as different and diverse as the Persian mystic Rumi, Zen Buddhist composers of Japanese haiku, and American poets Mary Oliver and Jane Kenyon. Modern sceptics like Auden and Larkin, whose wrestling with the meaning of death helps up make sense of no sense, are also included.
(Price & availability last checked: March 2018)