Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep

by J-Stacknik

Mary Frye was born on November 13, 1905. She died on September 15, 2004, aged 98.

Mary Frye wrote this poem in 1932. She had never written poetry before but was moved by the plight of a young German Jewish woman, Margaret Schwarzkopf who was living with her at the time in Baltimore, U.S. She wrote the poem on a brown paper bag. Margaret had been concerned about her mother, who was ill in Germany, but she was warned not to return home because of the growing anti-Semitic unrest. When her mom died she told Mary that she never had the chance to stand by her mother’s grave and shed a tear. This is what encouraged Mary to write the poem.

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.

By Mary Frye

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