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Friday, May 12, 2006

Epitaphs - thinking ahead...

Many of us will end up lying beneath a stone with something written on it (we'll all end up somewhere other than this life of course). I have always enjoyed reading a good epitaph - knowing that many are not written by their 'owners'. Here are a few I'm fond of:

Susan B. Anthony (early American feminist)
"Liberty. Humanity. Justice. Equality."



Charles Bukowski (poet)

"Don't try"


Winston Churchill
" I am ready to meet my maker. Whether my maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter."

Emily Dickensen (poet)
"Called back"


Groucho Marx
"Excuse me. I can't stand up."

Dorothy Parker (wit and writer)
"Excuse my dust."


W.B. Yeats -
"Cast a cold eye
On life, on death.
Horseman, pass by."

Robert Frost (poet)
"I had a lover's quarrel with the world."


Now for the interesting part - feel free to leave your own epitaph here - you might leave two - one that is serious and one for fun - you don't have to tell us which you'd actually prefer engraved for you some day in the very far distant future...


I'll start. For Gary.

"He lived. He loved."

OR

"WWW.EMAILMEIFYOUCAN.COM"





Comments:
do you know the writer and comedian, Spike Milligan? he always said he wanted the epitaph on his stone, ''I told You I was ill''.

when his time came, some complained that it wasn't in keeping with the solemnity of the place - so they translated it into gaelic so as not to offend the english - of course, Spike had Irish roots.
 
I think I'd like a stone with,

You Seem Nice, Can I Be Your Friend For A While?

that would freak some of those graveyard tourists out. Talking of which...it's curious you should post this, Gary. we walked around our little local churchyard only yesterday - some of those stones are dated 1700s!
 
I have a song I want sung but no epitaph that I can think of. There's not much you can carve on an urn.

Maybe that's it.
 
a musical urn?
 
I know I'll become a pile of ashes,(God, that's morbid) but if I were to have a tombstone I'd like it to read,

"She really lived <-- Jackie"

:)

I think to have that said by a dog who lives each and every moment to the fullest would be the best. :)

I think I'm going mad. lol
 
Grannie - what's your song?
 
How about

YOU'RE NOT STANDING ON MY GRAVE, ARE YOU?

Or

FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, GO ASK YOUR FATHER FOR A DAMNED SNACK.

I'll be back to post a more thoughtful one.
 
"I was never born I didn't die"

This line is from one of my poems called Impressions.I would like to share that with you-
I was always there
As the blowing wind
Or the falling leaves,
As the shining sun
Or the flowing streams,
As the chirping birds
Or the blooming buds,
As the blue sky
Or the empty space
I was never born
I did not die…
Abhay©
 
Wow! We're getting creative now... from Vee's dog writing her epitaph, to Jublu bossing the cemetary visitors around to Abhay's spirit-filled poem.

You poem might frighten some visitors Ian... or might lead them to have a picnic on you.
 
I will try and think of a fun one -for the moment.

Death of my earthly life, life was a good friend
Hope beats eternal, refeshed for new spring

best wishes
 
Water the flowers.
then go home and have lunch.
 
How about some lines from Emily Dickinson:

"Because I could not stop for Death--
He kindly stopped for me--"

or maybe I prefer this one from Emily Bronte:

"There is not room for Death
Not atom that his might could render void
Since thou art Being and Breath
And what thou art can never be destroyed."
 
Gary - Be careful what you ask for

Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

The ocean wild like an organ played,
The seaweed's wove its strands.
The crashin' waves like cymbals clashed
Against the rocks and sands.
Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

I stood unwound beneath the skies
And clouds unbound by laws.
The cryin' rain like a trumpet sang
And asked for no applause.
Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

The last of leaves fell from the trees
And clung to a new love's breast.
The branches bare like a banjo played
To the winds that listened best.

I gazed down in the river's mirror
And watched its winding strum.
The water smooth ran like a hymn
And like a harp did hum.
Lay down your weary tune, lay down,
Lay down the song you strum,
And rest yourself 'neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum.

Bob Dylan
 
Nice Lindsay. Vee - that's a classic.

Ju - I love everything Dickenson - I once went to a one-woman play (character of Emily D.) and was deeply affected by her life.

Granny - what a haunting and beautiful choice. I can almost hear you humming along with Bob.

"I stood unwound beneath the skies
And clouds unbound by laws.
The cryin' rain like a trumpet sang
And asked for no applause."
 
I mean "Zee that's a classic". Sometimes having a Vee and a Zee is tough. Maybe I should become a Gee to make it more confusing.
 
I'd probably be humming along with The Byrds. Usually I'd rather have anyone other than Dylan singing Dylan.
 
Finally sunk some roots

Best I could do, Gary, sorry.
 
Madcap! That is fantastic.. don't forget to tell Chive. Yes, not to be morbid, but of all my blogger friends, no one deserves good soil more than you (long, long in the future of course).
 
I would love to have some IT incorporated system on the graveyard where I could have some kind of video conferencing with me in front of the stone (or urn). With voice recognition and preprogrammed answers to questions.
 
"she lived long and prospered"

or

"Relax - there's stress enough to go around"

Actually - I don't want a grave. I want my ashes to be spread in the ocean.
 
Dimitri - you modern guy you! Sounds like a market by the way...

Nerdine - perhaps your words can be chanted as the ashes are thrown to sea (many, many, many years from now).
 
"When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of arguement.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world."

~ Mary Oliver (When Death Comes, exerpt)

but no grave for me either - cremate me in a carboard box and send me drifting over the ocean too. you can put this on a plaque somewhere that I'll donate my 'vast' estate to a wild life sactuary.

will return with something more flippant later....
 
Callooh - thanks for the inspiring Mary Oliver... and the image of the cardboard box (long in the future of course).
 
Weird that I found this blog on the day my uncle passed. I like visiting old cemetaries and reading the epitaths. Usually there is something stern about God on them. I'm not up for one of those, but I'm sort of like Nerdine. I want the Vulcan thing:

"Failed as a Vulcan; didn't live to be 200 and never got rich"

or

"I bite" (I once saw that on every cage at a children's zoo in big red letters)

or

"Feeding those interned here is strictly forbidden--with the exception of ice cream"

or

"Tell me something shocking so I can roll over. I'm getting stiff"

Seriously:

"She never stopped trying to improve"

or

"Animals Liked Her" (to me there is something inherently wrong with your character if animals don't like you.

I'll have to think about some more.
 
Nicely done Elizabeth!
 

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