For the Twenty Dead Children and Those Who Died With Them

December 15, 2012

Even a writer runs out of words to express her grief and rage.  I am there.  So let me just leave you with a few facts and a poem by W.H. Auden.

Number of children in the US between the ages of 0-17 – approximately 76.1 million

Number of civilian owned firearms in the US – approximately 270 million

“The United States has the highest rates of firearm-related deaths among industrialized countries, including homicide, suicide and unintentional deaths; young people are often the victims. Gun violence accounts for over 3,000 deaths and over 15,000 injuries each year among children and adolescents. The rate of firearm-related homicides for U.S. children younger than 15 years of age is nearly 16 times greater than the rates in 25 other industrialized countries combined.” – http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/policy_statements/children_and_guns  (2008)

Funeral Blues by 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 crepe 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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2 Responses to For the Twenty Dead Children and Those Who Died With Them

  1. graveday says:

    Well, if no one else cares to comment, let me. Auden is awesome. Still, I am hoping for at least a couple more Sundays of rest secure in the knowledge that he has been dead, oh so long, not.

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