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Brooklyn Street Art

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Vlady Art Spreads A Poem Across Stockholm : “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep”

Posted on January 29, 2018

When you live in a city your everyday interaction with the built environment may make one feel quite divorced from nature. Thanks to the parks and trees and the changing of the seasons, however, you can be poignantly reminded of the passage of time and a touch upon a somewhat grounded awareness of life’s cycles.

Somehow we know that the proximity to the sun and the tilt of the globe determines the length of our days, and seasons appear in literature and lyrics across our various screens for all of our lives.

Vlady Art. Do not stand at my grave and weep” (Mary Elizabeth Frye, 1905-2004) (photo © Vlady Art)

Stockholm Street Artist Vlady Art says that he waited through all of the seasons of a year to install a poem throughout his city that speaks to the season of loss, and remembrance. Using recycled real estate lawn signs, Vlady reprised in portions the poem “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep”, written in 1932 by the American Mary Elizabeth Frye.

“Today is one of the most popular poems in the world, crossing national boundaries for use on bereavement cards and at funerals regardless of race, religion or social status. Its spiritual words demonstrated a remarkable power to soothe loss,” he says as he describes his text-based interventions that span locations as well as seasons.

Vlady Art. Do not stand at my grave and weep” (Mary Elizabeth Frye, 1905-2004) (photo © Vlady Art)

“As the poem openly talks about nature and elements, I found that the perfect set for those spiritual words would have been outside. There the people should have it. The poem seemed to contemplate the same places that I admired while walking or cycling. Here in Sweden we have a close relation with the seasons and the outdoors. It’s not strange at all even for a Stockholm person to have a stroll in the forest or bath in a lake in the silence of the midnight light,” he says.

“During the summer days one of the most popular activities here is to wait the sunset on a top of a hill. And this is not a farming countryside, but a million’s people capital. I specify this because that might explain the mood behind the work. Also by disconnecting the verses and isolating them, I find it pleasant. Yes, I had to wait for the snow, the autumn rain or the mature grain. Is quite normal to handle more projects in the same time and wait for the right moment to strike.”

Vlady Art. Do not stand at my grave and weep” (Mary Elizabeth Frye, 1905-2004) (photo © Vlady Art)

Obviously the foresight, planning, and dedication that this took to fully implement is much more than the more common Street Art interventions that we are familiar with. Viewing the documentation today makes it all seen worth it.

In case you’re wondering, Vlady is hooked on the process and will have more installations to come. “For another project involving the autumn leaves I waited also about a year. I have already a good idea for the next Christmas, as well!”

Vlady Art. Do not stand at my grave and weep” (Mary Elizabeth Frye, 1905-2004) (photo © Vlady Art)

Vlady Art. Do not stand at my grave and weep” (Mary Elizabeth Frye, 1905-2004) (photo © Vlady Art)

Vlady Art. Do not stand at my grave and weep” (Mary Elizabeth Frye, 1905-2004) (photo © Vlady Art)

Vlady Art. Do not stand at my grave and weep” (Mary Elizabeth Frye, 1905-2004) (photo © Vlady Art)

Vlady Art. Do not stand at my grave and weep” (Mary Elizabeth Frye, 1905-2004) (photo © Vlady Art)

Vlady Art. Do not stand at my grave and weep” (Mary Elizabeth Frye, 1905-2004) (photo © Vlady Art)


Do not stand at my grave and weep (Mary Elizabeth Frye, 1905-2004)

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 sun 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 circling flight.

I am the soft star-shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do_Not_Stand_at_My_Grave_and_Weep


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