Do Not Stand… 3/12/17

I first heard of this poem as a nurse working with Hospice patients when some wanted this poem included in their funerals. It isn’t often that a poem stays in your consciousness and becomes one of your favorite poems but that is what happened with Do Not Stand… I’ve shared this poem written by Mary Elizabeth Frye and also some information provided by I hope that you enjoy reading the poem and the history of it, Susan…

Credit- LinkedIn Slide Share.

Do Not Stand…

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 sunlight 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.

(categorically attributed to Mary Frye in 1998)

The Spoken Verse

Poem’s History

This is a version of a poem that, apparently was circulated as postcards printed by the Schwarzkopf family. Margaret Schwarzkopf was visiting Mary Elizabeth Frye who was living in Baltimore USA when Margaret’s mother died. It is said that Mary wrote this for Margaret and that it was Mary’s first real attempt at poetry. Mary has said she wrote it on a brown paper bag and that the words just came to her.

Later it was printed on postcards by the Schwarzkopf family and was circulated in that fashion before it was ever conventionally printed. Subsequent versions of the poems have appeared in so many places that it was firmly regarded as public domain, despite Mary Frye’s claims. However the mystery of the true origins of “Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep” seems now to have been solved when the poem was categorically attributed to Mary Frye in 1998, following research by Abigail Van Buren, aka Jeanne Phillips. On her death in 2004, The Times (English Newspaper) quoted a version of this poem in her autobiography.


© by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes

© by owner. provided at no charge for educational purposes




2 thoughts on “Do Not Stand… 3/12/17

  1. Lovely poem. This was one of my Grandmother’s favorite poems. So nice to hear it again. I guess we only think of it when someone passes.

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