a poem about a girl and a funeral

Monday, March 29, 2010

If you saw my previous post about my friday adventure, you might remember that one of the items I purchased that day was a vintage composition notebook from the 20s-30s. It was owned by a boy named Goerge White. In it, was a melancholic poem about a girl that he loved, but has passed away. Unfortunately, I don't have any idea how old he was when he wrote it, where he was from, and if it was even based on true events or not. I also don't know if it truly is about a girl's funeral, as it is just pure speculation and there is no way of knowing for certain. Reading this though, it was the only situation that made sense.

These are the actual pages. Remember, you can click on it to make it larger.
I sat within the chapel, dim and silent
save for the organ's slow refrain
and watched the summer's sunlight play
in muted grief
across the [*] wherein my darling loved one lay.

I looked with askance at the velvet after cloth
and envied it, its soft unfeeling touch
the satin pillow with its wisp of frilly lace
I envied too
and felt no peace within this quiet place

That deep, dim, quiet knew no love, no life;
no pulsing throb was in the organ's notes.
The summer day was cold and still
so like a winter sun
shining on some remote and frozen hill
and even grief and sorrow seemed unreal
too shamed to voice one smallest note
In that dim chapel, quiet was so deep
its silence kissed
my love, in her last dreamless sleep.

The organ's low, unreal, hypnotic strain
the reverent sorrow of the pastor's voice,
the chilling vision of a Winter's glee
My sudden insight knew,
were not for her - they were for me.

[*] I can not read this word. If you can though, please let me know what it is. I have a feeling he is trying to refer to a coffin, but I am not entirely sure. Any help would be appreciated!


  1. I believe the word you're looking for is Bier.

    What an incredible find!!! It must be wonderful finding & owning something so precious! Congrats! Thank you for sharing! So touching & heartbreaking!

  2. wow what a beautiful discovery!! I love when you find things like this, and what a keepsake. Nice post :)

  3. +JMJ+

    I agree that the word is "bier," which is the stand on which a coffin is placed.

    So, Jillian, your guess was close!

  4. Beautiful and evocative. Hope you do a search for George White...maybe find out the girl's name and what happened. Does that sound too morbidly curious? It is interesting though--- hope George went on to have a happy fulfilling life.


  5. I concur: bier, as Embrethiliel defined it.
    What a great find! Imagine the story you could write about it...

  6. Thanks everyone! I was just confused, because if you look at how he spelled it, it's "Beir." It was probably a typo though.

    It is heartbreaking, isn't it?

    Oh and Lesa, it's not morbid at all. Today, I was actually feeling very inspired to write a short story about him and the girl. So many wonderful ideas, so many words.. unfortunately, I already hit writer's block. Hm, oh well, better luck next time.