good friends, let's to the fields ...
after a little walk and by your pardon,
i think i'll sleep, there is no sweeter thing.
nor fate too blessed then to sleep.
i am a dream out of a blessed sleep -
let's walk and hear the lark.
- Edgar Lee Masters
"To-morrow Is My Birthday"
Masters famously allowed his characters to speak rather than leaving them to rest in peace. Though a person may express his or her wishes upon their passing, after death these decisions are often left to the whims of friends and family, as the above example proves.
Many poet's graves are more elaborate and spectacular than the writer may have actually envisioned for themselves. D.H. Lawerence's remains were cremated and then added to a cement mix used to build an altar in New Mexico.
Some poet's gravesites are less substantial and relatively unkempt. Sylvia Plath, buried in Yorkshire, England, is one example of this. Though tulips are often left by her resting place, the area is strewn with weeds and tree branches.
Fans of e.e. cummings have little more than a flat ground marker to which to pay their respects. A stark contrast to his wife's grave site.
Many times a writers grave site seems more befitting than usual. Ralph Waldo Emerson lays in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts, by a large naturally jagged boulder, and Walt Whitman's tomb is extremely grand - lush with foliageand adorned with American flags.
Langston Hughes was cremated and his ashes were buried underneath floorboards at the Library Of African American Culture in Harlem.
The final resting places of those well known and famous very often become destinations for rabid fans and tourists, but let us not forget that surviving family members and friends also visit to pay their respects and to honor the loved ones they have lost. The dearly beloved person - not the icon they have become in death.