"Reciting poetry is, for most people, an art that starts and ends at school. So it's always a delight to hear people reading poems at funerals, perhaps for the first time in many years.
Reading at a funeral is never easy, but I am always thrilled when a family member moves the assembled guests with simple words, sincerely spoken.
Only last month I was so impressed when a young girl stood up at her Grandmother's funeral and read a poem she had written herself. No trite rhymes or bland sentiments for her; this was a well crafted poem that was from the heart.
What's more, it was very clearly being read by the person who wrote it, as the rhythms and rhymes were in the natural rhythm of her voice. It was delightful, and lifted the spirits of everyone present."
Favourite poems for funerals we encounter include:
- "Footprints" by Mary Stevenson
- "Let Me Go" by Betty Miller
- "Do Not Stand At my Grave And Weep" by Mary Frye
- "You can shed tears"
- "God's Garden"
- "My mother had a garden"
(No sooner had I typed this blog, than Michael Gove announced that every primary school child would have to recit poetry as part of their education - someone was listening!)