Charles Cowling
Oldie readers of this blog will know who I mean by Katharine Whitehorn. Journalist (Observer, mostly). Irreverent, no-nonsense, funny, nice. She’s now Saga magazine’s agony aunt. I’ve just stumbled on the poem she wants to be read at her funeral. It’s by AE Housman and it’s called Parta Quies. I’d
Charles Cowling
Here’s a new poem by Wendy Cope published in the current Spectator. I hope she’ll forgive the flagrant breach of copyright and see this instead as a promo. Its sentiments are very contemporary. My Funeral I hope I can trust you, friends, not to use our relationship As an excuse
Charles Cowling
The words that follow are by Thomas Lynch, a hero to so many of us in the UK. (In the US there are those who reckon him paternalistic, but we don’t need to go into that. It’s complicated.) Funerals are about the living and the dead — the talk and
Charles Cowling
It’s been a slow news day here at the GFG luxury penthouse suite in Thanatology Towers. So here’s a very good poem by Owen Sheers. If you like it, buy the collection. It’s called Skirrid Hill and it’s published by seren. On Going i. m. Jean Sheers There were instruments, as there always
Charles Cowling
The Tide Recedes The tide recedes, but leaves behind Bright seashells on the sand. The sun goes down, but gentle warmth Still lingers on the land. The music stops, and yet it lingers On in sweet refrain. For every joy that passes Something beautiful remains. MD Hughes What do you
Charles Cowling
There’s a sprightly piece about funerals in this week’s Spectator. Its content is not available free online, so I’ll transcribe the best bits and hope that I’m not infringing copyright but, rather, advertising the magazine. It’s by James Delingpole. If I’d written a film it would have been called Four
Charles Cowling
How To Watch Your Brother Die For Carl Morse When the call comes, be calm. Say to your wife, “My brother is dying. I have to fly to California.” try not to be shocked that he already looks like a cadaver. Say to the young man sitting by your brother’s
Charles Cowling
There’s a new collection of poems out from Roger McGough. I like him. I’ve always thought him admirable for his craftsmanship (there’s a lot that doesn’t meet the eye) and his humanity. And his accessibility, of course. He’s a great poet. Many of the new poems are imbued with his