Do Not Stand on My Grave and Weep
The Poem | A Short Story | The Poet | Poem Analysis
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 circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
By Mary Elizabeth Frye
As I look back it seems so funny, but it wasn’t that funny back then. A few days back, I was in the balcony of my highrise apartment in the city of New York. Still young, around 8-9 years. Somewhere from the sky, suddenly there was an inflow of a large number of centipede-like creatures. As they came closer, I saw them firing bullets, I realized it was the Chitauri army that had attacked the city.
Suddenly I heard the screams of my mother. She was shouting at me “Get inside the house at once, else you are going to hurt yourself real bad. Then don’t come to me crying.” I totally ignored what my mom said. I am not sure why, but I was waiting and hoping that I will get to meet not Iron Man, not Hulk, or any other superhero, but Loki. I was super excited.
And while I was waiting, suddenly something hit me on my shoulder, and I died. But I hadn’t lost my consciousness. I couldn’t see anything but was clearly able to hear all that was going around. I could feel I was taken to a room with all my people. I could hear the silence at first and then followed by the sounds of my mother sobbing. I wanted to comfort her. I just didn’t know how to. I said to her, “Mom! I did not die, I became one with the force”. She again shouted at me, “That’s why I always tell you not to watch Star Wars movies and all the meta-human movies that you watch. That is why I always tell you to study”. I knew if I get up now she would send me back to studies. That’s the kind of terror my mother has over me. But it was really sad for me to her grieving. But you know anything, just anything can happen in your dreams.
And I have a habit of reading a story or poem each morning. And strangely as I woke up that morning, I read this poem. I realized if instead of saying I was one with the force if I had read this poem, she wouldn’t have been that angry on me and probably, it could have comforted her. But I really want this poem to be read at my eulogy, just to comfort anyone sad (though it is quite unlikely that anyone would be sad ;P)
Mary Frye, born in 1905, spent her life as a poet and housewife. She is now named among some of the most famous American poets. She never earned anything for her poetry during her lifetime. According to her, if she had charged anything for her poems, her poems would have lost its value. She also never got her work copyrighted, as she thought her work belonged to the world and not her. Mary never really had any formal education but was still was one of the most beloved poets of her time.
This extremely famous poem has been read at countless funerals and public occasions. The author composed this poem in a moment of inspiration and scribbled it on a paper bag. She wrote it to comfort a family friend who had just lost her mother and was unable to even visit her grave.