Stewart Dakers is a 76 year-old voluntary community worker with a weekly column in the Guardian. He wrote a piece in last week’s Spectator about funerals. Here’s a taster: Funerals ain’t what they used to be. Today’s emphasis is more on celebrating a life past than honouring the future of
Posted by Vale I was listening to a programme about the recordings John Betjeman made with Jim Parker, setting his verse to some glorious music. Until they played this, though, I’d forgotten how dark Betjeman could be. On A Portrait Of A Deaf Man The kind old face,
Posted by Richard Rawlinson Poems are often read at funerals. Here are just a few, including WH Auden’s Funeral Blues, which moved many cinema-goers to tears when featured in Four Weddings… ‘He was my North, my South, my East and West/My working week and my Sunday rest…’ But are many
The Purbeck Isle What do love and death have in common? Ans: they inspire poetry. It’s where we turn when words fail. Two pieces today. The first is freshly minted by our religious correspondent, Richard Rawlinson. We do not know We do not know when or how we shall die.
Posted by celebrant Evelyn Temple THE HOUSE IS NOT THE SAME SINCE YOU LEFT BY HENRY NORMAL The house is not the same since you left The cooker is angry – it blames me The TV tries desperately to stay busy But occasionally I catch it staring out
Posted by Juno Gatsby Jack’s granddaughter called me and asked if I could recommend a venue for his funeral service. His family knew he didn’t want his last journey to be in a church or crematorium. He would be laid to rest in their local cemetery after his
The Natural Death Handbook, Fifth Edition A thoroughly updated and revised edition of the Natural Death Centre‘s celebrated handbook. Now presented alongside a new collection of essays on death, dying and funeral practices by doctors, historians, authors, poets, theologians and artists including Richard Barnett, David Jay Brown, Dr Sheila Cassidy,
Posted by Vale This lovely jazz piece was actually a requiem for Charlie Parker – but at risk of offending purists I thought Frank O’Hara’s poem for Billie Holiday on the day she died fitted perfectly with the music. The Day Lady Died It is 12:20 in New York
And another regrettable thing about death is the ceasing of your own brand of magic, which took a whole life to develop and market— the quips, the witticisms, the slant adjusted to a few, those loved ones nearest the lip of the stage, their soft faces blanched in the footlight
I don’t know where you stand on literary criticism. I’ve never been a fan, largely because I don’t understand it. Many years ago I taught for a while, and I was charged with showing fifteen year-olds how to back-seat drive Shakespeare and other quite good writers. Despairing of my teaching
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