Mary E. Frye, 1905 - 2004
~ ~ ~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 hushI am the swift uplifting rushOf 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.
To coincide with National Poetry Day 1995, the British television programme The Bookworm conducted a poll to discover the nation's favourite poems, and subsequently published the winning poems in book form. The book's preface stated that "Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep" was "the unexpected poetry success of the year from Bookworm's point of view"; the poem had "provoked an extraordinary response... the requests started coming in almost immediately and over the following weeks the demand rose to a total of some thirty thousand. In some respects it became the nation's favourite poem by proxy... despite it being outside the competition." This was all the more remarkable, since the name and nationality of the American poet did not become known until several years later. In 2004 The Times wrote: "The verse demonstrated a remarkable power to soothe loss. It became popular, crossing national boundaries for use on bereavement cards and at funerals regardless of race, religion or social status