Poet Laureate Marks Diana's Funeral

Ted Hughes, the Poet Laureate, has written a short poem to mark Princess Diana's funeral. The poem expresses the sense of collective grief at her loss and draws heavily on religious themes. The image of "The Flower on The Gun" in the poem's last line is a reference to the horse-drawn carriage which will bear Diana's coffin on the way to Westminster Abbey.

6 September 1997

Mankind is many rivers
That only want to run.
Holy Tragedy and Loss
Make the many One.
Mankind is a Holy, crowned
Mother and her Son.
For worship, for mourning:
God is here, is gone.
Love is broken on the Cross.
The Flower on the Gun.

Mr Hughes succeeded Sir John Betjeman as Poet Laureate in 1984. The Poet Laureate usually marks significant Royal events in verse.