Circadian Poems

A place to celebrate poetry, poets, and the creative spirit.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Poetry for the Dead

Poetry for the Dead
By Cerridwen Iris Shea

This is the time of year for costume and candy and revelry. But it’s also a time to honour one’s Ancestors. Call it Samhain, All Souls’ Night or the Days of the Dead, cultures use this time of the final harvest to reconnect with bloodlines and honor their Ancestors.

What better way to honour our Ancestors and those we have loved and lost than through poetry? Revive the Bardic traditions of old.

Poetry inherently contains our souls’ rhythms. Using poetry to honour our dead, especially during this time of year, strengthens our connections to the past and to the future.

Look through your books and find a relevant poem. Sort through your favorite songs – many song lyrics are poems set to music. Write a poem – you don’t have to be Shakespeare or Elizabeth Barrett Browning to create words of love from your heart to honour those you love. Even taking a Magnetic Poetry kit and creating a ditty on the refrigerator door counts.

Life is about rhythms. Part of that rhythm includes death. By using poetry to catch the rhythm of death within the rhythms of life, it becomes less frightening, more natural, and more real.

You don’t lose the connections with those who have died – each year, you have the opportunity at this time to reconnect – through poetry. If you wish, you can even keep a notebook of favorite poems to speak each year in your ceremonies. And, should you speak or hear the poem at some other time during the year, you can feel the joy and warmth of knowing that the soul you’ve honoured is honouring you in return.






Cerridwen Iris Shea’s work has appeared in Llewellyn’s calendars and almanacs for ten years. She teaches tarot and other esoteric workshops. She wrote the magical realism serial Angel Hunt for a year and a half. Visit her blog Kemmyrk for explorations on tarot and oracle work. Her website, Cerridwen’s Cottage, is undergoing a redesign, and will re-launch in December or January.

Important information: My website is moving hosts. Until further notice, please only use this address for submissions or other correspondence, and put “Circadian” in the subject line. I will announce it again here when the move is complete and the address specific to this site is up and running again. Thank you for your cooperation and your patience.

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