Monday, 8 February 2016

Poems of Love and Loss: Remembering and Celebrating



During bereavement we often want to express the sense of love and loss but find ourselves lost for words. In this case poetry can have a very powerful emotional and spiritual effect.

Poems can also challenge and provoke different ways of thinking about difficult experiences. But it is often quite difficult to find a poem that is suitable for a public service that expresses both celebration and loss.

In this blog I have selected several poems that may help you to mark your sense of loss, and aid reflection, commemoration and celebration.

I have tried to encompass a variety of moods, tones and approaches to reflect the different phases of grief.


Gitanjali - 
Rabindranath Tagore
I ask for a moment's indulgence to sit by thy side. The works that I have in hand I will finish afterwards.
Away from the sight of thy face my heart knows no rest nor respite, and my work becomes an endless toil in a shoreless sea of toil.
Today the summer has come at my window with its sighs and murmurs; and the bees are plying their minstrelsy at the court of the flowering grove.
Now it is time to sit quite, face to face with thee, and to sing dedication of life in this silent and overflowing leisure.

Laughter - Bonnie Ruth Shaulis

Laughter is a pleasant sound, it spreads joy all around
Whether you're young or old, laughter can be like
Magic to our souls, whenever we're feeling sad
Laughter can sustain us so that things don't seem
Quite so bad, if we give into laughter, it can be like
A cure for something that seems impossible to endure
So any time your spirits need a lift fill yourself
With laughter and you will find, a much happier
Person with a peaceful frame of mind

The Laughing Heart - Charles Bukowski

your life is your life
don't let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can't beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvellous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

Friendship  - Poem by Khalil Gibran

And a youth said, "Speak to us of Friendship."

Your friend is your needs answered.

He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.

And he is your board and your fireside.

For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.

When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the "nay" in your own mind, nor do you withhold the "ay."

And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;

For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.

When you part from your friend, you grieve not;

For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.

And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.

For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.

And let your best be for your friend.

If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.

For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?

Seek him always with hours to live.

For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.

And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.

For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

Sadness And Joy - William Henry Davies

I pray you, Sadness, leave me soon,
In sweet invention thou art poor!
Thy sister, Joy can make ten songs
While thou art making four.

One hour with thee is sweet enough;
But when we find the whole day gone
And no created thing is left --
We mourn the evil done.

Thou art too slow to shape thy thoughts
In stone, on canvas, or in song;
But Joy, being full of active heat,
Must do some deed ere long.

Thy sighs are gentle, sweet thy tears;
But if thou canst not help a man
To prove in substance what he feels --
Then give me Joy, who can.

Therefore sweet Sadness, leave me soon,
Let thy bright sister, Joy, come more;
For she can make ten lovely songs
While thou art making four.


Joy And Sorrow - Khalil Gibran

Then a woman said, "Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow."
And he answered:
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Laughter - Laughter - Juahta Sitepu

laughter - laughter here I come
to make my friend smile and calm
jump and jump to the left to the right
thru the day time and night

laughter - laughter here I am
to make true all the sweetest dreams
like my friend always has in sleep
thru the very beautiful night
that will never skip

laughter - laughter here we are
my friend and I are blab - blab - blab
and we are happy and careless
cause the better future are waiting for us

laughter - laughter, who are you?
WHAT! you don't recognize me?
I am sorry, I thought I know you
but just let it be
because a real friendship doesn't care who we are

(build a strong good friendship among us)



There’s always another tomorrow,
However dark the sky,
There’s always an end to sorrow,
Time wipes our tears away.
There’s always a reason for living,
Though sad your heart may be,
There’s always another horizon,
Beyond the one you see.

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 glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die!
Mary Frye.


The Sound Of Laughter - Francis Duggan
The sound of laughter is a thing of beauty for laughter spreads the very gift of joy
That people they are drawn to happy people is not that hard for to understand why
Since everybody wishes to be happy and laughter it spreads happiness around
And only the heartless could not like the sound of laughter for laughter is a very happy sound,
Than laughter there is no more happy feeling laugh and the World laughs with you seems so true
But if you feel sad and for yourself feeling sorry the saddest person in the World is you
Even your friends would rather not be with you if they see you as one who worship gloom
The happy people attract people to them and in their presence happiness does bloom,
The sound of laughter sends out laughter ripples it is a sound one always loves to hear
And laughter it gives rise to smiling faces and never fails to fill the cup of cheer
The sad one who feels comfort in self-pity is the one others do not wish to know
But if you are one who laughs away your worries your friends in numbers seem to grow and grow
And who could not but love the sound of laughter to it there always is a joyful ring
It seems to send happiness out in ripples it is a joyful and infectious thing.
A Child's Laughter - Harry J. Couchon Jr

One of a kind this cheerful sound
A child's laughter wherever it's found
From the giggling of a baby in a playpen
To the laughter of a toddler again and again

A child's laughter can bring a smile
To one who hasn't done so in such a long while
I know because that one was me
Until my daughter's laugh set mine free

A child's laughter so gleeful and pure
An innocence adults miss for sure
Laughter that can bring back the past
And memories of a youth that flew by so fast

A child's laughter can bring out the best
Of most any man when he's depressed
Cause his spirit that's fallen to soar
Until at last he laughs once more


Not In Vain - Emily Dickinson
If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain:
If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can go no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me.
[Christina Rossetti]


Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
[Christina Rossetti]


Although he has taken you from us
And our pain a lifetime will last
Your memory will never escape us
But make us glad for the time we did have
Your face will always be hidden
Deep inside our hearts
Each precious moment you gave us
Shall never, ever depart
So go and run free with the angels
As they sing so tenderly
And please be sure to tell them
To take good care of you for me

Friendship's Meaning - Poem by Michelle Kafka

Friendship freezes misspoken or misinterpreted words.
Friendship melts the shadows of the heart.
Friendship's soul swells rolling the emblazoned red carpet at our doorways.
Friendship is the bridge binding two islands.
Friendship is one fragrant blossom meeting the perfect ground.
Friendship is wild laughing by the swishing stream.
Friendship is watching leaves turn stunning colours.
Friendship is a golden chain with luck charms worn about the neck or wrist.
Friendship is the turquoise stone tucked away in the pocket or enveloped under the pillow.
Friendship is a frog sitting beside a bold bright yellow rose on a Sunday morning in August.
Friendship extends its magical arms for it is not the receiving but the giving.
Friendship is creating a mood positive and light.
Our friendship is the air, fire, earth, and water of the universe!



Key To Friendship - Poem by Anonymous

The key to friendship
Is not in the hand you hold
But how you hold the hand.

It's not in the tears you dry
But all the reasons why.

It's not how you make a person smile
But whether or not it's worthwhile.

It's not in the conversation
But in the way you listen.

It's not in the laughter
But what comes before and everything after.

The key to friendship
Is not in two people relating
But in two hearts communicating.

Thank you for being that special friend
Who understands the key to friendship
And how to unlock everything within my heart.  


But now, further along life's road I stand
In a timeless world, just beyond your sight,
Waiting for the day when I can take your hand and bring you across
to this land of Golden Light...
Till then, remember me, you understand-and try not to cry.
But if you do:
Let your tears fall
For the happiness and joy we knew,
And for the special love we shared,
For love can never die.

Look for me in Rainbows
Time for me to go now, I won't say goodbye;
Look for me in rainbows, way up in the sky.
In the morning sunrise when all the world is new,
Just look for me and love me, as you know I loved you.

Time for me to leave you, I won't say goodbye;
Look for me in rainbows, high up in the sky.
In the evening sunset, when all the world is through,
Just look for me and love me, and I'll be close to you.

Time for us to part now, we won't say goodbye;
Look for me in rainbows, shining in the sky.
Every waking moment, and all your whole life through
Just look for me and love me, as you know I loved you.




To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
[Book of Ecclesiastes]


The Sound Of Your Laughter - Ronberge

The sound of your laughter
Is what pulls me through
The harshest winter

The sound of your laughter
Makes every bright summer day
Brighter

The sound of your laughter
Is what gets me up in the morning
With it
I can take anything life can bring

Not to make too much out of it
But to me
Everyday
Is a good day
To live
To
The sound of your laughter


Let Get Laughter Way Out Of Yourself - Morhardt Carmen Mencita Monoi Angel

Let get laughter way out of yourself
Make the happy sound awake
Laughter magic and enchanting
Don't sustain it in your soul
Let yourself go into joy
May it help forever
People from wherever
Getting circled together
Laughter can be a kind of help
A worthy enemy to distress
Rise this laughter so dear
To be heard by human ears
Make it go on around the world
Little chuckles happy giggles
So many ways of laughing
Don't fear the others comment
Let laughter way out of yourself
Be assured laughter is magic
Open your heart to this very
Very special kind of sound
Let get laughter way out of yourself
Make the happy sound awake

When The Laughter Stops - Poem by Matthew Holloway

When the laughter stops
~
And what when the laughter stops
Do we care to ask
Those clowns and entertainers
Once the curtain has fallen
Is there still joy, rhapsody
Or the emptiness of a still room
Do they cry or call for help
What happens when the laughter stops
It's not a question I hear often
But is a relevant as the time of day
Were the world indeed a stage
And we each designated a role to play
Those jesters how we love them so
In their masks and acts
What happens when the laughter stops
Still we do not ask


If Tomorrow Starts Without Me - Poem by NaNa Nana

If tomorrow starts without me, please don’t cry,
just remember the happy days we spent together.
If tomorrow starts without me,
Please don’t look back on our memories with sadness,
look back at them with happiness and laughter.
If tomorrow starts without me,
Please tell my sister I love her,
tell her I will always be by her side.
If tomorrow starts without me,
take a moment of silence and listen good,
because I will be there.
If tomorrow starts without me,
please don’t forget me, always keep me close.
If tomorrow starts without me,
don’t worry keep living and always keep in your head,
that one day we will all meet again.

Those With The Gift Of Laughter - Poem by Francis Duggan

You laugh and the whole World seems to laugh with you
And that laughter is the best medicine happens to be true
Some find it hard to laugh as if to laugh is a crime
Though 'tis hard for to be happy all of the time
Those with the gift of laughter spread happiness around
And where there is laughter joy also abound
Those who find it easy to smile and laugh others do wish to know
They seem quite infectious and on you do grow
The World without them would be a sadder place
For joy it is carried in a smiling face,
Their friends in numbers have grown from a few to a crowd
And others laugh with them when they laugh aloud
They have the gift of laughing their cares away
And they add to their list of friends every day


Laughter - Poem by Kenneth Maswabi
Born out of joy
Jovial moments are captured
By the wavering laughter
Bursting out of a happy heart
With hands full of joy
A child of love
Laughter


A Friendship Kit - Poem by Seema Chowdhury

A friendship kit can never be purchased
Neither be sold, nor be replaced
Because everything that comes with it
Holds value in every bit

So pick your friends who are dear
Mix in them some love and care
And add kindness in them too
And be always honest and true

Then put them in the friendship test
And let them take it with zest
Then whatever comes out of it
Store it in the friendship kit

For everything that is given to you
By a friend really holds value true
Because a friend is an extension of you
Without whom you feel incomplete too.