Saying ‘Goodbye’ with Poetry

Tramore Bay, Co. Waterford

Everyone has their own way of saying ‘Goodbye’ and it should have come as no surprise to me that my mother would want to speak through poetry. After all, we tended to converse in poetry about practically everything from making shopping lists to the meaning of life.

After she died this day five years ago, our ‘big sister’ divulged that Mother had  asked for a specific  poem be read at her simple funeral service. It served, and continues to serve, as a truly powerful message to me, especially as I have the good fortune to live by the sea here in Co. Waterford.

I’m glad to say that the sun is beaming as I re-read the poem and that my swimming gear is waiting in the hall!


Crossing the Bar

Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.





Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

16 thoughts on “Saying ‘Goodbye’ with Poetry”

  1. I truly love this poem reading it just now it truly struck me. It gave me a feeling of peace.
    My favourite poem about the sea and I think of tying up loose ends is, or was, until I read Crossing the Bar, Sea Fever by John Masefield. Fancy me not knowing this beauty from the man Tennyson. This is another reason for using wordpress : you learn so much. So thank you.
    I hope you enjoyed your swim. xxxxx

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