11/11/11 - Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep
During the week beginning 7th November 2011 the Library and English Department paid tribute to Remembrance Day. School Librarian, Mrs Simms, created a thought provoking display of images and books associated with conflict and war. Year 8 pupils were given a Remembrance Day bookmarker and all pupils were encouraged to borrow this genre of books and reflect on the significance of this day.
Some English classes read, listened to, and viewed emotive poems, songs and images as they pondered upon the poignant theme of war.
Please take a few moments to listen to, and read, a very moving poem entitled
‘Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep’ by Mary Fyre.
Mary Frye, who was living in Baltimore at the time, wrote the poem in 1932. She had never written any poetry, but the plight of a young German Jewish woman, Margaret Schwarzkopf, who was staying with her inspired the poem. Margaret Schwarzkopf had been concerned about her mother, who was ill in Germany, but she had been warned not to return home because of increasing anti-Semitic unrest.
When her mother died, the heartbroken young woman told Frye that she never had the chance to “stand by my mother’s grave and shed a tear”. Frye found herself composing a piece of verse on a brown paper shopping bag. Later she said that the words “just came to her” and expressed what she felt about life and death.
The poem was introduced to many in Britain when it was read by the father of a soldier killed by a bomb in Northern Ireland. The soldier's father read the poem on BBC radio in 1995 in remembrance of his son. His deceased son had left this poem in an envelope addressed 'To all my loved ones'.
‘Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep’
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 glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s 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 cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
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