You have all heard the story by now. Seen the headlines. Read the crawls. But after my initial speechless shock, and devastated screaming, and almost non stop crying I must bring myself to write these words: Heath Ledger is dead.
He was one of his generation's most gifted actors; a man who defied hype, a man who defied expectations. His performances were often moving, mesmerizing, and in films like Brokeback Mountain utterly heart wrenching. There has never been a day that has gone by since the release of that film that I do not think about it, and Heath Ledger's brilliant creation of one of cinema's most beloved and unforgettable characters: Ennis Del Mar.
And so now, Ledger will go into the great depths of consciousness with names like Dean, Harlow, Monroe, and Phoenix. A star that burned so brilliantly and brightly you turned your eyes away because you couldn't take it all in at once. May he find peace out there on some far Australian shore. Here are two poems that say what I perhaps am not eloquent enough to say; one poem sad, the other triumphant.
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
Do Not Weep
Mary E Frye, 1932
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 softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight.
I am in the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in everything.
Do not stand at my grave & cry,
I am not there, I did not die