Poetry Sunday: Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep by Mary Elizabeth Frye

Mary Elizabeth Frye, an American housewife and florist, wrote this twelve-line poem in 1932. She was inspired to write it because of a young Jewish girl who was staying with her household at the time and was unable to visit her dying mother in Germany because of the anti-Semitic unrest there. It is a heartfelt work that, according to the story, was originally written on a brown paper bag. 

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep

by Mary Elizabeth Frye 

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.


  1. This is new to me and VERY powerful. It is especially poignant given the rise in antisemitism throughout the world, with old tropes and lies being revived. I will save this one. Thank you, Dorothy.

  2. This is one of my most favorite poems!

  3. I didn't know this one -- so thanks for posting it. What an interesting history behind the poem. Very good to think about.


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