“The power of the spoken word”

the crow papers selected writing by michael hannah

I have a great love of poetry and I recognize how powerful it can be in a funeral ceremony. However, I only use poems or song lyrics when it seems truly appropriate.

Sometimes a family will suggest a favourite poem. They might ask me to find one for them. Or they might ask me to read something that a family member has written – those are often the most heartfelt and moving tributes of all.

There have also been times when I have written something myself.

The internet is a good source of poems and I also like the Picador Book of Funeral Poems edited by local Dundee and St Andrews poet, Don Paterson. The Penguin collection, Poems and Readings for Funerals edited by Julia Watson and Do Not Go Gentle –poems for funerals edited by Neil Astley (Bloodaxe Books).

Finally, here is a small selection of poems – some written by me – some by friends.