The Funeral of the Former Year


This week’s challenge, “Birthday”.

Most of us see this occasion leaning towards more of a form of jubilation and celebration. A certain gentleman and poet, Alexander Pope (21 May 1688 – 30 May 1744 / London / England) thought otherwise.

Pope’s poem to his friend Martha Blount knows that birthdays are melancholy for many. “Is that a Birth-Day? ’tis alas! too clear, / ‘Tis but the funeral of the former year”.

He wishes Martha happiness, pointedly expecting that she will be pleased “Not with those Toys the female world admire, / Riches that vex, and Vanities that tire.” Instead, she will “wake to Raptures in a Life to come.” Consoling?

Here is a selection of photographs from former years and depicting New Zealand my “birth” country.

Harekeke [flax] Basket

Harakeke Kete [Flax Basket], for many years used for gathering and storing kai/food.

Old truck advertising vegetables 2009

Buying fruit and vegetables that used to come from our backyard or a local grower.


Moeraki Boulders – South Island an area we have celebrated and commiserated one or two birthdays.

Tui by RubyWatson_edited.jpg

Our iconic Tui, viewed via an art piece.

Blue line


What is Sunday Stills all about?

In Terri’s words:

Sunday Stills is a photography challenge with a weekly theme (similar to the now-defunct WPC). Each Sunday I post the weekly theme with images of my own interpretation. Any blogger is welcome to participate and interpret the challenge with their photos, poems, stories, music, etc!


Sunday Stills photo challenge

Join in via


17 thoughts on “The Funeral of the Former Year”

  1. Very intriguing on the concept of Birthdays. Pope’s poem evokes positive and negative emotions.

    I always appreciate seeing photos of anything New Zealand. We have such fond memories of this country. I do recall the Moeraki Boulders. I am curious to now search through my photos.

    A very artistic post, Suzanne, on many levels.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much Donna, I was trying to look outside the “square”. It wasn’t so much the presents I received as a child. Apart from the new bike now that was exciting and gave me a sense of total freedom. The food that was brought out only on special occasions, like Rice Bubble Crackle 🙂


    1. Another way of looking at it is you’re fortunate to get to “old age”. Though I do get the depressing factor is that the older we get the less years we have. Old age is grand when your health is good.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That makes me feel slightly more normal, I really don’t like birthdays, mostly because of the level of expectation.

    I love your imagery, the boulders and the bird in particular x

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s