Alan Rickman Reads Poem If Death Is Not The End

Jan 14, 2016, 01:39 PM

Alan Rickman reading Robyn Hitchcock's If Death Is Not The End, recorded at Robyn' 50th Birthday party. (Thanks to @scruss @wojsvenwoj.)

"If death is not the end, I'd like to know what is.

For all eternity we don't exist, except for now. In my gumshoe mac, I shuffled to the clifftop, Stood well back, and struck a match to light my life; And as it flared it fell in darkness Lighting nothing but itself.

I saw my life fall and thought: Well, kiss my physics! Time is over, or it's not, But this I know: Life passes through us like the blade Of bamboo growing through the prisoner pegged down in the glade It pierces your blood, you screaming head - Life is what happened to the dead.

Forever we do not exist Except for now. Life passes through us like a beam Of charcoal green - a golden gleam, The opposite of how it seems: It's not you that goes through life life is the knife that cuts your dream Around the seam And leaves you turned on in the stream, laughing with your mouth open, Until the stream is gone, Leaving you cracked mud, Not even there to be absent, From the heartbeat of a dying fish.

In bed, upstairs, I feel your pulse run with the clock And reach your hand And lock us with our fingers As if we were bumping above the Pole. Yet I know by dawn Your hand will be dry bone I'll have slept through your goodbye,no matter how long I wake.

Life winds on, Through Cheri and Karl who can no longer smell chocolate, Or see with wonder wind inflate the sail, Or answer mail

Life flies on Through Katy who was Catherine but is bound for Kate Who looks over her shoulder at the demon Azmodeus, And sees the Daily Mail

(I clutch my purse. I had it just now.)

Life slices through The frozen butter in the Alpine wreck.

(I found your photo upside down I never kissed a girl so long, So long, so lovely or so wrong)

Life is what kills you in the end And I can cry But you won't be there to be sorry You were made of life

For ever we did not exist We woke and for a second kissed."

Alan Rickman 1946 - 2016