I Am a Little Church

One of the exercises we did in the “A Year to Live” class (see entry this section) was select a poem that spoke our feelings about our own death, a poem to be read at our funeral. I was going through my papers about the class today and came across the poem I chose. It still astounds me how perfectly this poem reflected my feelings. I remember I could barely get through the reading of it,¬†surprising myself by breaking down in tears. But it also made my heart sing. I’m going to suggest that this might provide a good couple of hours of interest for you too. Why not? A good way to thumb your nose in death’s face: choose the poem that you want read at your funeral (if you don’t have a glimmer, google “poets who write about death”. That’s how I found this one).

i am a little church(no great cathedral)
far from the splendor and squalor of hurrying cities
– i do not worry if briefer days grow briefest,
i am not sorry when sun and rain make april

my life is the life of the reaper and the sower;
my prayers are prayers of earth’s own clumsily striving
(finding and losing and laughing and crying)children
whose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladness

around me surges a miracle of unceasing
birth and glory and death and resurrection:
over my sleeping self float flaming symbols
of hope,and i wake to a perfect patience of mountains

i am a little church(far from the frantic
world with its rapture and anguish)at peace with nature
– i do not worry if longer nights grow longest;
i am not sorry when silence becomes singing

winter by spring, i lift my diminutive spire to
merciful Him Whose only now is forever;
standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence
(welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness)

e e cummings

Hope doing this brings you the pleasure of discovery.

Facing Death

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