Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden

‘Funeral Blues,’ also known as ‘Stop all the Clocks,’ is arguably Auden’s most famous poem. It was first published in ‘The Year’s Poetry’ in 1938.

The poem is a morose, sad elegy that wonderfully describes the feelings associated with grieving. It’s filled with clever twists and heart-wrenching statements that give it a real poignancy, features that may explain the poem’s enduring popularity. It showcases Auden’s poetic ability to relate to human emotions.

Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden

Explore Funeral Blues


For someone like the speaker who has suffered a loss, the world is transformed. But to everyone else, nothing changes. Time doesn’t slow down, and no one cares what’s happening. The indifference of the world plagues the speaker in this poem. They plead with the world to feel as they do, understand his grief, and even participate in it.

You can read more poetry from W.H. Auden here .


There are several important themes in W.H. Auden’s ‘Funeral Blues’.  These include grief/silence, isolation, and death. All three of these themes are tied together within the text as the speaker discusses what grief over the death of a loved one is like and how it separates one from the rest of the world. In the first lines, the speaker demands that everything quiet down and that all the “mourners come” to mourn.  The speaker seeks out transformation in the world but is unable to find it. They are isolated in their loss and no one adequately respects that fact.

Form and Tone  

‘Funeral Blues,’  is a classic elegy. While the narrator does not go into specific detail about the loss suffered, the feelings of loss are very present. The text is referenced often in film and TV (such as in Four Weddings and a Funeral and Gavin and Stacey ). Auden structured the poem in four, four-line stanzas known as quatrains . These quatrains follow an AABB rhyming pattern, changing end sounds as the poet saw fit. It is an atypically somber poem and is, therefore, a popular reading at funerals. Most of the poem is delivered through an omniscient, anonymous narrator. But as the lines go on, the amorphous loss becomes more personal the speaker makes use of first-person pronouns.

Poetic Techniques

Within  ‘Funeral Blues’  Auden makes use of several poetic techniques. These include caesura , anaphora , alliteration , enjambment and hyperbole . The first, caesura, occurs when a line is split in half, sometimes with punctuation, sometimes not. For example, the fourth line of the first stanza , as well as the fourth line of the third stanza.

Alliteration , another important and common technique within Auden’s works, occurs when words are used in succession, or at least appear close together, and begin with the same letter.  For instance, in the first line of the first stanza: “the clocks, cut off” or “working week” in the second line of the third stanza. 

Auden also makes use of anaphora, or the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of multiple lines, usually in succession. This appears sporadically throughout the text, for example, “Let” at the beginning of lines one and four of the second stanza and “My” at the start of lines two and three of the third.

Towards the end of the poem, hyperbole becomes quite important. It is an intentionally  exaggerated description, comparison or exclamation meant to further the writer’s important themes, or make a specific impact on a reader.  the last lines ask the impossible, that one should “Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun” and put out the stars.

Another important technique commonly used in poetry is enjambment. It occurs when a line is cut off before its natural stopping point. Enjambment forces a reader down to the next line, and the next, quickly. One has to move forward in order to comfortably resolve a phrase or sentence.  It can be seen throughout the poem, but a few examples include the transition between lines three and four of the first stanza and line one and two of the second stanza. 

Analysis of Funeral Blues

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, Silence the pianos and with muffled drum Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

What a powerful way to start a poem. The idea of stopping the clocks serves two purposes here. First, it stops the noise that they potentially make, the annoying ticking sound, but also it signifies the stopping of time. When somebody dies their time is said to be up and this represents that. That is followed up with “cut off” the telephone, the poet could have used the word disconnect, but the idea of being “cut off” acts as a subtle double entendre .

There is an ever-present theme of stopping sounds and promoting silence, hence preventing the dog from barking. In fact, that seems to be the overarching theme of this first stanza. Silence is the order of the day. What is interesting is the idea of silencing the piano with a muffled drum. I think the drum referenced here isn’t an actual drum. Rather, it is a representation of the footsteps of pole bearers as the next line in the stanza references the arrival of the coffin. It is feasible the marching action performed by these men could elicit the experience of a drum beat. Interestingly, the stanza ends with the phrase “let the mourners come,” an invitation of sorts.

Let airplanes circle moaning overhead Scribbling on the sky the message “He is Dead”.

Auden is meticulously clever in the language that he uses. Once again in this stanza, he makes reference to noises. This time though he describes the airplanes as “moaning”. The first thing of importance to note is that the sound of the word “moaning” sounds a lot like the word mourning. But, it is also a noise associated with death or dying. This clever word choice is a feature of Auden’s poetry and can be seen throughout  ‘Funeral Blues’.

The next line has an element of the surreal about it. Suggesting that a plane could use its chemical trails to write anything as complex as that is pretty unrealistic. I think this line is more about displaying the narrator’s feelings though. There is an element of “for all I care” about this line as if the narrator doesn’t want to deal with anything and just everything to go away as quickly as possible.

Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves, Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

In the next line of ‘Funeral Blues,’  the narrator evokes the image of the “dove”. The dove is a powerful icon, especially from a religious standpoint. It represents purity and peace, drawing us back to the narrator’s desire for quiet. What is notable though is this is slightly subverted. Auden uses “public doves.” Could he be referencing the common pigeon through this phrase? Is the suggestion here that he wants a commonplace animal to dress formally and pay its respects, to signify that the loss of this person is a loss to everybody. The next line suggests so as it recommends that even the traffic police should be in mourning. Wearing black gloves would be a sign of respect to the departed.

Stanza Three

He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest, My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song; I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

This stanza of ‘Funeral Blues’   talks explicitly about what the person they are mourning meant to them. The opening line references the points of a compass and carries the suggestion of a loss of direction. The speaker is lost, physically and emotionally, without their partner.

The next line furthers the importance of the deceased. It is the narrator’s way of saying that this person meant everything to them. The third line emphasizes this. By stating they have lost their “talk” and their “song,” they are once again bringing the poem back to the theme of silence that has reoccurred throughout the poem. It is clear from the last line of the stanza that the narrator loved the person they are referencing dearly and that they thought that emotion would last forever. It has clearly been replaced by grieving.

Stanza Four

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one, Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun, Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood; For nothing now can ever come to any good.

The opening line to the final stanza of ‘Funeral Blues’  is among the more striking in the entire poem. It describes the listless feeling one experiences when everything seems pointless and irritating. The stars represent hope and love and the narrator has no interest in these things at this point. Their grieving has put them in a, figuratively, very dark place. The theme of darkness continues as they then talk about dismantling the heavens. They truly feel that they cannot continue now they have lost their loved one.

The melodrama of the narrator’s emotions in ‘Funeral Blues’  peaks with the penultimate line as they suggest doing away with the oceans. It is clear that they feel that now the person that they are mourning has been removed from their lives that they will never enjoy happiness again. This is extremely powerful and emotional material and anyone who has suffered a tragic loss will no doubt be able to relate to the content of this poem.

About W.H. Auden

Wystan Hugh Auden was born in England but later became a citizen of the United States. He is a divisive figure although most scholars recognize his importance as one of the most renowned poets of the twentieth century they are often critical of his style and of his importance. Auden’s poems cover a wide range of topics from politics, religion, love, and social issues. He has a large back catalog of work and also wrote plays/films as well as poems. He was also a prolific essayist.

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Funeral Blues Essay

Funeral Blues “A METEOR FROM the universe of Wystan Hugh Auden flashed into the atmosphere of American culture in 1994 when "Funeral Blues," a poem written in 1936, was recited in a eulogy scene in the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral. ” (Johnson) Many people have wondered what it is like to lose someone they love; if one does not know the feeling they are very fortunate. Some people think that without that certain someone, their life will cease to exist. In W. H.

Auden’s poem “Funeral Blues,” a woman loses her lover and cannot even imagine how she is going to get on with her life; she puts her deceased companion on a God-like pedestal; and she loves him so much that she believes that he is her whole world. In “Funeral Blues,” Auden makes the bitter attitude of the speaker toward the subject of death apparent to the readers through the use of symbols, imagery, and metaphor. In the first verse, the speaker states “stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone…” (Auden Line 1).

The clock being stopped may signify the fact the man who died has run out of time, or possibly to ask those who knew him to stop what they are doing and grieve. With the idea of the telephone being cut off, she wants to show the deceased the respect he deserves by honoring him with a moment of silence. In the second verse the speaker states, “let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead” (Auden 5). She uses this metaphor to reveal the pointlessness of her life. What is the point of planes flying in circles? They do not get anywhere flying in a circle. She is comparing the pointlessness of flying in circles to her life without her partner.

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The persona in the poem talks about her deceased partner as if he is on a God-like pedestal. The reader realizes just how important the deceased is to the speaker when reading the phrase “…He is Dead”. (Auden 6). The use of the capital letters displays the incredibly close relationship between the two lovers. She talks about the aeroplanes scribbling sky messages, it is very doubtful that someone that is not in the limelight is going to have sky messages at their funeral that rarely happens at a celebrity funeral, let alone at a funeral of someone who is not in the limelight.

To show the God-like significance, “He” is capitalized when she is talking about the writing in the sky. She also thinks that the funeral procession is going to be so long that they will need a police officer directing traffic. The persona in the poem continues to describe the intimacy between her and her lover, claiming that he was her “North, South, East, and West” (Auden 9). She has just realized that because of her companion’s death, along with everything else, her love has also come to an end.

Like before, she commands the reader to carry out impossible tasks. “The stars are not wanted now: put out every one; Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun” (Auden 13-14). She also begs for the oceans and forests to disappear. ”Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood. ” (Auden 15) Without her lover, she feels like her life is meaningless. The speaker honestly believes that because of this tragic event, “…nothing now can ever come to any good. (Auden 16) She cannot picture her life without him, almost like she does not want to survive without him. W. H. Auden does not want one to find the meaning of the poem, but to feel the grief on how this person does not believe in living anymore since her loved one has passed away. It shows that she wants everything to stop and for everyone to feel what she’s feeling and mourn together with her. She put her lover on a God-like pedestal and thinks that he is just as important to everyone else like he is to her.

Auden’s choice of words draws the reader into a greater understanding of the intensity and depth of feelings experienced upon the loss of a loved one. The symbolism used by the poet pulls us into the actual world of grief as the speaker searches for ways to mourn this passing. Works Cited Auden, W. H. "Funeral Blues. " Literature and the Writing Process. 9th Ed. McMahan, Elizabeth, et al. Upper Saddle River: Pearson, 2011. 614. Print. Johnson, Jeffrey. Christian Century 4 September 2007: 47-48. Academic Search Premier. Web. 26 February 2013.

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Literary Analysis of Funeral Blues by W. H. Auden

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poetry essay on funeral blues

Funeral Blues

by W. H. Auden

Funeral Blues Questions and Answers

Critically evaluate the impact of "funeral blues" as an expression of loss and grief., from "funeral blues," explain the meaning of the line, "he was my north, my south, my east and west", what devices or figures of speech does auden use in the ninth line of "funeral blues" what do they contribute to the poem, what features of w. h. auden's poem "funeral blues" make it a modernist poem, identify two symbols of death that can be found in stanza 1 of "funeral blues.", what are the three literary techniques used in the poem "funeral blues" by w. h. auden, critically comment on the theme of "funeral blues" by auden., what is the color contrast found in the second stanza of "funeral blues," and how does it reflect the speaker's mood, how would you describe the mood of the narrator in “funeral blues” what’s the reason for this mood, how is the choice of diction in line 1  of "funeral blues" used to convey the speakers tone, how do the images in the final stanza convey the speaker's attitude towards the death of his loved one in "funeral blues", why does the speaker wish to "stop all the clocks" how does this desire relate to the theme of "funeral blues", list the ways in which the speaker asks society to mourn the loss of his partner in "funeral blues.", state the possible meanings for the word "blues" in the title and relate this to the poem itself., discuss the form of the poem "funeral blues.", explain the importance of the last stanza of auden's "funeral blues.", what type of poem is auden's "funeral blues"  what are the indicators of the poem (is it lyrical or narrative)  what sound or musical devices does the poem use  , identify all the references to sound in the poem "funeral blues.", explain the first four lines of "funeral blues" by w. h. auden., in "funeral blues" by w.h. auden, what does 'he' (the person being talked about) mean to the narrator, how can i analyze funeral blues by w.h. auden with reference to stanza, repetition and rhyme, analyze each stanza of "funeral blues" by auden., assess the strength of "funeral blues" by w.h.auden., was wystan hugh auden's poem "funeral blues" written for his father, isherwood, kallman or someone else, what are all the instructions in stanza 1 of "funeral blues" attempting to achieve, how is "funeral blues" an appropriate companion piece to "the handsomest drowned man in the world" (how are the two related what similar themes do they share).

“Funeral Blues” Poem by Wystan Hugh Auden Essay


A poem is writing that an individual or a group of people uses to express their feelings or ideas. Poets write poems without necessarily referring anywhere since they write about whatever they feel. A poem must always have a theme since it is the main topic or issue in the poem. Poems also have tones. Tones are the voice of the poet that brings out the mood of the poem in every stanza. A poet can bring in a metaphor in his poems to compare two things to describe an occasion.

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Poetry is important because they give those who have angered a podium to express their anger since it is an art of expressing emotions and feelings. Another importance of poetry is that they inspire and can make people view certain things in a different perspective. A poem that rhymes are easy and more enjoyable to read, write, and memorize. This paper will analyze the poem “Funeral Blues” by Wystan Hugh Auden and show how each part contributes to the theme of the poem.

In the poem, the poet mourns the death of someone who he is very close to and with whom he says they shared everything they had. The poet uses a harsh tone to begin his poem. The poet uses the first line of the poem and orders mourners to stop all the clocks and to cut off all telephone lines. The poet probably does not want to pick any calls or hear any noise of any kind. The poet seems to be angry about the death of a person who he considers close to him.

He also speaks with a lot of anger and authority in his first line by giving out commands. In his second line, the poet further orders fellow mourners to give dogs juicy bones that will prevent them from barking. The poet, however, does not indicate the owner of the dogs he orders mourners to prevent barking. It is obvious the poet needs some moment of silence by further ordering a silence of the pianos in his third line and further asks for muffled drums.

In the third line, the poet is not opposed to drums that fit the occasion of sorrow than a joyful piano. In his fourth and the last line of the first stanza, the poet announces that someone has died and further welcomes mourners to come and mourn. The poet further orders for the coffin of a dead man. The poet welcomes mourners in his fourth line to come and mourn a dead man. In all the four lines in the first stanza, the poet is so authoritative and issues command to fellow mourners. The title of the poem justifies that the poet is addressing a group of mourners at a funeral.

The poet uses the first line of the second stanza to ask airplanes to assist him in announcing the death of his friend to everyone. In commemorating the death of his friend, the poet interestingly asks that airplanes recognize the death by making a public acknowledgment. The poet now wants the public to know that there is a funeral and people are mourning. At the beginning of the poem, he ordered mourners to stop all the clocks and cutting off all active telephone lines.

In the sixth line, the poet does not mention the name of the dead friend but leaves the dead man’s name anonymous to the mourners. The poet uses the last two lines of the second stanza to make more demands. In the seventh line, the poet demands that fellow mourners should put crepe bow around the necks of white public doves. The poet further uses his last line to demand that traffic police officers should put on black cotton gloves. The poet gets hyperbolic and leaves people wondering and asking more about the dead person because many people do not know him. People are also wondering how the dead person relates to the poet because he is doing the extraordinary to mourn him.

In the third stanza, the poet uses the ninth line to inform his audience that the dead man means a lot to him. This line shows that the poet loved the dead man so much and depended on him on everything. The tenth line also restates how much the poet depended on the dead man by telling his audience that the dead man was his working week and his Sunday rest. Compared to other lines in the first two stanzas, the poet goes personal in his ninth and tenth stanza.

The first two lines in the third stanza to some extent inform the audience why the poet would like that everybody mourns his dead friend. He describes the dead man as a person who he loved and was so close to him. The poet further uses the last two lines in the third stanza to describe the love he had with the dead man. He further confesses that he thought the love they both had would last forever. Death, however, separated the poet with his friend that he valued so much.

In the last stanza, the poet goes authoritative again. After a cheerful mood in his third stanza, the poet starts issuing demands as he did in his first stanza. He orders that mourners should pack up the moon, and the sun dismantled. The poet uses the first two lines in the last stanza to show much grief. In his last stanza, the poet seems to be sad compared to the previous stanzas. The poet further asks mourners to dismantle the sun, however impossible it may seem.

In the last two lines of the last stanza, the poet asks his mourners to get rid of the ocean and the wood. The poet further uses his last line to state that there is nothing good that will ever come out of anything in this world. In this line, the poet restates that he can never find happiness from any source, and he further says that he will never be happy as he was before. The last line of the last stanza also shows the love shared by the poet and the dead man.

In conclusion, the poem “Funeral Blues” by Wystan Hugh Auden is a poem about death. The poet brings about what someone can go through if he loses a loved one. In the poem, the poet laments about the death of someone who is close to him and wants to bring the world to a standstill.

The poet further wants everyone to mourn the death of his friend who he never states his name neither the cause of the death. Throughout the poem, the poet mourns the dead person and loses hope about being happy again without him considering the love they both shared. The poem also further shows what any person in grief can go through and do just to overcome the grief they are going through.

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The mahogany coffin a dark shade of red symbolizes death. The narrator’s parents build the mahogany coffin for Doodle because they thought that he wasn’t going to survive. “He seemed all head, with a tiny body which was red and shriveled like an old man’s,” (158). Later on when Doodle turns six, the narrator takes him to the loft barn where Doodle’s coffin is kept. His coffin was layered in Paris green. The narrator told Doodle that the coffin was for him but Doodle doesn’t believe him. The narrator also tells Doodle if he doesn’t touch the coffin, that he is going to leave him, Doodle is very frightened to touch it, but he doesn’t want his brother to leave him. When Doodle touches it an owl comes out of the coffin and fills both Doodle and his brother the narrator, with Paris green. The narrator and his parent’s keep the coffin because they know that Doodle is going to die soon, but if they throw out the coffin, it would show that Doodle isn’t going to die and that he might live after all.…

Blake/Plath Essay

The “Morning Song” uses many language features throughout the poem to provide clear imagery, which shows how the arrival of the baby has affected the speaker’s life. First, the poem starts with the picture of a “fat gold watch,” which expresses the speaker’s idea that time is being taken away from her and that having a child is an enduring responsibility. In addition, the watch also represents the baby’s heartbeat, which is a constant reminder of the baby’s presence. Then the speaker goes on to create an image in the reader’s mind of a “New statue. In a drafty museum.” This image shows a variety of emotions the speaker feels, such as resent, pain, and sorrow. Additionally, the use of “statue” depicts an attitude of resent because it describes a sense of permanence, which the speaker has now recognized that her child has been born. Also, the use of “drafty museum,” creates an idea of distance between the speaker and her child. The statement, “I’m no more your mother,” is another example of the speaker’s attitude, which shows her distance and anger. Another image that aids in the expression of the speaker’s attitude is when she says, “Your mouth opens clean as a cat’s.” This depicts the distinct and loud crys of the infant, which wakes the speaker at night, and it once again shows the distance between the speaker and her infant when she refers to the baby as if it were an object by calling it a cat. These vivid images definitely…

Life is really short, and many people don’t come to realize it until someone passes away. You only live once and life is a gift that we should all cherish and appreciate every day. As we all know, everyone has a time to go and for many people it is a sad and depressing time. Everyone goes through the grieving and mourning process which can be really hard to go through. In many cases, it may be more difficult for some more than others. A traditional funeral is basically a ceremony in a church or home where you celebrate and remember the life of a person who has died then proceed to the burial and repast. In New Orleans, things are done a little different and by different I mean Jazz Funerals.…

Tom Brennan Speech Analysis

The second part of the poem ‘Nightfall’ continues the story of the child forty years from ‘Barn owl’, where she had lost her innocence by shooting an owl and this had resulted in a heavy hearted guilt which was caused by her unknowing and stubborn actions. The poem represents death closing in on the father, and the limitations of time on their relationship that was never experienced before in her younger years. The father, who in the first poem is depicted as an “old no-sayer”, is now held in high esteem, he is admired and respected as an “old king”. The extended metaphor “Since there is no more to taste ripeness is plainly all. Father we pick our last fruits of the temporal.” Appeals to our senses and is now an aural metaphor, it illustrates the father’s life becoming fulfilled or ripe, it has come near to its end and the father and child will now spend or pick the last moments of the father’s life together. Over time her appreciation of her father has changed, this is shown through “Who can be what you were?” and “Old King, your marvellous journey’s done.” She has realised the valuable life her father has led and the great loss that will be felt after he is gone. The child, now a grown woman learns another lesson about death, it can be quiet and peaceful, and “Your night and day…

Various Notes

In the first part of the poem writer personifies the sun (“As if the mighty sun wept tears of joy”), opposing the sun to cold and dead winter. The idea of death is traced throughout the poem. At the very end of the poem Thomas uses different connotations of death, such as “silence” and “darkness”, as if winter is holding back the start of spring and the new life. Also, author is using antonyms as “sang or screamed”, “hoarse or sweet or fierce or soft” to emphasize the contract of spring and winter. Using alliteration (“they sang, on gates, on ground they sang”) and assonance (“hoard of song before the moon”). adds sonority and dynamic to the poem and helps to create an imitation of birdsong. As well, describing winter, writer resorts to the use of metaphor…

Love Poem with toast

People live, and then people die. That’s the way it has and always will be. In Miller Williams poem “Love Poem With Toast” Williams exemplifies the struggle that humans have with time. ‘…

A Lover's Lover Diction

In this poem, the evening has set upon the urban neighborhood as the speaker embarks on a walk. He see a crowd of people and hears a lover singing to his beloved and his song portrays that his love will never cease. The clocks, however, showcase a contradictory attitude through the use of their diction by insinuating that love will end because the lovers’ lives will as well. Throughout the poem, the lovers remain naively optimistic while the clocks take a cynical point of view toward love and time. The author of this poem demonstrates device usage such as metaphors, personification, and symbolism in effort to reveal the idea that one should live each day as if were his/her last.…

La Belle Dame Sans Merci Annotations

The first and second stanzas contain anxiety and uncertainty of the first speaker and foreshadow the pain and trouble that will come to the second speaker…

How Is Lady Macbeth Presented In The Laboratory

The main themes throughout this poem are love, hate and jealousy which eventually lead to death.…

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FUNERAL BLUES Bibliography 4 Pages 968 Words

             The poem "Funeral Blues", written by W. H. Auden, is based on a loved one who is deceased. The poem is written based on nontraditional and traditional elements. This poem is also based on several different themes such as death, love, order and disorder, and also meaning of love. Throughout the poem W. H. Auden mixes his stanzas with some words that rhyme and rarely some that don't. "This coupling of ordered and unordered patterns symbolize the speakers efforts, and final failure, to reestablish order in his life after suffering the devastating loss of a loved on" (Wilson 142). At first, I couldn't distinguish if Auden was talking about the actual loss of a loved one to death or the actual loss of a loved one due to a break up. " is not clear that this is a conventional elegy: Auden may simply be mourning the end of a relationship, not death" (Kushner 148). It was also hard to distinguish if he was talking about himself or somebody else. "Although Auden does not clearly state about whom the poem is written, one can gather that speaker loved this person dearly" (Kushner 148). This poem was actually a revised poem of "Another Time" that was written by Auden along time ago. Wendy Perkins states, "George T. Wright, in his book, notes Auden was a continual reviser, rearranger, and even discarder of his early poems" (143). In "Funeral Blues," W. H. Auden uses several literacy devices such as conflict, rhyme, and symbol.              Throughout Auden's poem, he deals with conflict between himself and human nature. According to The Longman Writer by Judith Nadell, Linda McMeniman, and John Langan, conflict is "a struggle between individuals, between an individual and some social or environmental force, or within an individual" (614). In his poem, it is obvious that he's having a conflict with death. He talks about the death of a loved ...

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poetry essay on funeral blues

The Mood in Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden

The Mood in Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden The poem, "Funeral Blues", by W.H. Auden tells about a person's grief and is successful in creating a very sad and depressing mood. This is achieved by the poet's use of language, word choice and sentence structure. The way in which the author describes his feeling - along with the use of rhythm and rhyme - was created in a very effective way which made it clear to the reader. In the first stanza the depressing mood is created straight away by

Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden

W.H. Auden wrote the poem, “Funeral Blues”. Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-1973) was born in York, England, and later became and American citizen. Auden was the founder for a generation of English poets, such as C. Day Lewis, and Stephen Spender. Auden’s earlier works were composed of a Marxist outlook with a knowledge of Freudian Psychology. Later works consisted of professing Christianity, and what he considered “increasing conservatism”. In 1946 Auden emigrated and became an American citizen. While in

Death in Auden’s Funeral Blues, Forche’s Memory of Elena, and Dickinson’s Last Night that She lived

Death Reflected in Auden’s Funeral Blues, Forche’s Memory of Elena, and Dickinson’s Last Night that She lived Death is a natural and inevitable part of life. Everyone will experience death, whether it is of a loved one or oneself. In W.H. Auden’s poem “Funeral Blues” (1003), he describes such a catastrophic event and the drastic effect that it has on his life. It is interesting how people choose to accept this permanent and expected event, death. Similarly, Emily Dickinson has written many

Funeral Blues Analysis Essay

Funeral Blues by W. H. Auden is a short poem that illustrates the emotions that he is dealing with after the love of his life passes away. The tone of this piece evokes feelings that will differ depending on the reader; therefore, the meaning of this poem is not in any way one-dimensional, resulting in inevitable ambiguity . In order to evoke emotion from his audience, Auden uses a series of different poetic devices to express the sadness and despair of losing a loved one. This poem isn’t necessarily

The Funeral

As she walked into the funeral home, all Amanda could notice was tear stained faces, the costumes of black on the people, which symbolizes the somber time ahead, and how hushed everyone was being. It was the funeral of Amanda’s brother, Jacob Flowers, who had passed in a horrific car accident involving a drunk driver. The funeral home was getting to be only standing room because Jacob was acquainted with so many people, and had affected many lives in unique ways. Jacob had passed at the young age

Reflection About Life After Death

Religion and cultures teach the idea of life after death, but only if a person lives a good life, and surrenders themselves to a higher power. There are also rituals a deceased family must follow during funerals and with grief to ease the transition from life to death. In some cultures, funerals and time for mourning is a quick process, in others it can take several weeks before the body is laid to rest. Death is the end, some cultures rejoice others mourn, but between all cultures and religions

Funeral Narrative

There was something uncomfortable about a funeral service on a sunny day. Uncomfortable because the images of a cloudless blue sky and a dead body being lowered into the ground didn’t quite fit together in my mind. Also, it was uncomfortable because I didn’t exactly enjoy wearing black in the beating sun. But alas, I feel it would have been uncouth to wear white to a funeral. I glanced down at my crossed wrists and then glanced around me to see if anyone was giving me a distasteful look. It’s not

Critical Analysis Of W. H. Auden's Funeral Blues

In his poem “Funeral Blues,” W.H. Auden depicts a grieving speaker who, at the loss of the speaker’s most beloved person, demands that the world around the speaker change to match the intense feeling of grief being felt. In the very first stanza, the speaker calls for respectful silence that represents his inner struggle at the loss of his love (“Overview”). Not only does the speaker call for the silence of the phone and dogs, but even time must be stopped for the sad occasion ("Funeral"). Only the

Funeral Traditions

from and its traditions and customs. Three countries with very interesting traditions and customs for the burial and funeral of a deceased person are China, Africa, and Australia. China has a very interesting tradition for the burial and funeral of a deceased person. Since cremation is uncommon throughout China, the burial of the dead is taken very seriously. It is taken

White Ground Lekythos Analysis

purposes and rituals (Gardener’s Art . The white- ground slips of these vases were commonly painted with depictions of the events of an ancient Greek funeral, the most popular being visitation of the grave, and the process of the deceased moving into the afterlife. Ancient Greek painters used a variety of rich colors to apply decoration of the funeral process and patterns. The wide rimmed ring of space located at the top of the lekythos was commonly decorated with a pattern called palmette. Discovering

Personal Narrative - My Parents' Funeral

Narrative- My Parents' Funeral Celery sticks served as slugger bats; olives substituted for baseballs to be smashed across the kitchen. Cousins Sonny and Guido were pitcher and catcher, and my sister Dorrie was a combination of infield and outfield. I came up to bat for the first time just as Gramps called for us to come into the living room. A policeman stood in the doorway. Nonnie and Aunt Sandy were crying. All morning we had been told to stop touching the Thanksgiving dinner or we would

Before actually attending the funeral my parents made sure everything I was wearing was black. I made a mistake of wearing a red bracelet and my parents scolded me. As I took off bracelet, I asked my parents why I couldn’t wear a red bracelet and they said it was because the color red was associated with happiness and celebrations. I understood immediately because we recently celebrated what I considered the happiest time of the year, Chinese New Year, which prominately uses red. So it would have

Free Death of a Salesman Essays: After the Funeral

Death of a Salesman:  After the Funeral They all return to the house. The fully paid for house. The sight of it brings back a slight sob to Linda's throat, when she reaches the cement stoop her sobbing once again becomes full. Charley looks to her but is at a loss for words. Happy puts his arms around his mother and holds her. Biff only looks on at it all. For a brief second he sees the Willy's fate in Happy's eyes as he holds Linda. Willy's death has brought Biff to know what he is more than

Analysis of Anthem For Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen

the second stanza is more about the feelings of friends and family back at home. This poem starts off at a quick pace, and then slows down throughout the poem, drawing to a slow and sombre close. Throughout this poem the feel of a war style funeral is compared and contrasted to the ways in which men died in the war. The title 'Anthem for Doomed Youth,' gives you a first impression of a sad poem. 'Anthem' is normally, and in my eyes a song that is sung in churches. The word 'Doomed' is

Dickinson's I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain

Thomas Higginson changing Dickinson's words. An interpretive paper on, "I Felt a Funeral, in My Brain Emily's Version I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, And Mourners to and fro Kept treading--treading--till it seemed That Sense was breaking through. And when they all were seated, A Service, like a Drum. Kept beating--beating--till I thought My Mind was going numb. And then I heard them lift a Box And creak across my Soul With those same Boots of Lead, again, Then Space--began to toll

Emily Dickinson

consume her, and therefore is evident several times within her poetry. A clear example of this is in her poem 280 when she writes, “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,/ And Mourners to and fro/ Kept treading-treading-till it seemed/ That Sense was breaking through-” (Dickinson 176). The whole poem goes on referring to what I believe her to be talking about, is her own funeral. Reading only that poem alone would make Dickinson seem to be depressed, but I think it is more that she is scared senseless about her

Trends in U.S. Funeral Services and the Effects on Grieving

discussion. One in particular is death. Within the U.S. culture, people are traditionally uncomfortable with the concept, sometimes so much that they face anxiety and fear should it be brought up, even though death is an inevitable part of life’s cycle. Funeral trends, the grieving process, and even the concept of death in media signal shifts in how the U.S. culture views and copes with death. With this in mind, the following paragraphs will address these four questions: 1. What is an overview of U.S. culture

Sociology of Death and Dying

De Spelder and Strickland (1983) say that the understanding of death is communicated through the process of socialization by which children learn the concepts and conversations that have value in modern society (p.64). Geoffrey Goer believes that there is evidence to suggest that death has become a taboo and has replaced sex as the unspoken subject of today’s society. Goer says children “are initiated in their early years to love (the concept of sex); But they no longer see their grandfather and

Discourse Analysis Of Deviant Burial

Death is inescapable for all living beings. It is the one commonality all cultures share. It is an equalizer in a world of diversity. Although death itself is absolute, the practices which surround death are varied and complex from culture to culture and individual to individual. As Mike Parker Pearson elaborates: In the face of the universal fact of death, attitudes to the corpse are various and changeable. These attitudes are formed through the practices of treatment of the dead and are embodied

Personal Essay: My Funeral Wishes: Cremation

My Funeral Wishes A funeral is an important event that should be planned with careful consideration, as each person only gets one to celebrate his or her life. People often die expectantly and suddenly leaving any funeral and burial arrangements in the hands of friends or relatives. These friends or family of the deceased may or may not have a good understanding of what the deceased would have preferred in his or her post death arrangements. A person planning his or her own funeral can prevent

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The Mood in Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden Essays

The dead literary analysis essay.

Almost everybody who falls in love may think that they will be the same person as they were before meeting someone and putting then into your life. That as a matter of fact is very different. You may not know your real you when loving and caring so much about someone. There are many things to think about whenever you find your loved one. For example, their past friends, their past life , and actions. The author of this story “The Dead” makes us reveal various aspects of Gabriel’s character by using imagery, point of view, and diction.

Poetic Elements Within the Blues Essay examples

Blues is one of the most captivating genres of music. The genre was originated in the late 1800’s as a method used by African American slaves to express the circumstances as well as to put emphasis on their feelings and emotions. In order to create these feelings in this music, blues artists incorporate many of the same techniques used to write poetry. One of the most easily identifiable songs in which it is easy to see the relation between poetic elements and blues music is the song “Empty Bed Blues” by Bessie Smith.

Chronicle of a Death Foretold: Honor Essay

The concept and belief of honor in the Columbian culture in Chronicle of a Death Foretold is one of the deciding aspects of the character's actions, motives, and beliefs. Nobody questions the actions taken to preserve ones honor because it is such an important moral trait that one must cherish. In this society a man or woman without honor is an outcast to the community and to the culture. In Chronicle of a Death Foretold two twin brothers are burdened with defending this tradition of honor. The brothers find out that their sister has lost her virginity before marriage and she claims that Santiago Nasar is to blame. To regain the honor of their sister, and their family the brothers believe it is their duty to kill Santiago Nasar. Could such

3 Messages From Forbidding Mourning By John Dunn

John Dunn is a creative poet. Dunn wrote this poem to his girl when he was leaving the country. Love is the main point of the poem. Dunn uses conceits to explain what love is. In the poem “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” by John Dunn, there are three messages his poem give to his women.

The Grateful Dead Essay

The Grateful Dead was a band that toured continuously for 30 years until the death of lead man Jerry Garcia. They were known for free flowing jams and bluegrass roots. Phish is a band that has toured consistently for the last 17 years and has in time made themselves into stealth multi-millionaires. Both are very talented bands, who have and in the Dead's case, had, created big names for themselves. Many people make wrongful association with these two groups of musicians. It is said that Phish is trying to be the Dead of this generation. This statement is very untrue. Phish is not a Grateful Dead take-off. Phish and the Dead have much more differences than similarities. There are of course a few similarities between

How Did Miles Davis Develop

Throughout the many years of time, music has been associated with the lives of humans. Ranging from the oldest recorded music in 1888, The Lost Chord, to Motherese, or the way that mothers “sing” to their babies to communicate to them, to our modern music of radio stations blaring our favourite song while we drive from place to place. Music has found its place within human lives, intertwining its existence with ours. Incredibly enough, humans have found a way to harness music with our very hands and create elegant melodies from tools. Beginning with instruments that look like a guitar, instruments that look like a flute and instruments that look like a drum, we began making controlled music with rhythms and harmonies. As years passed and civilization began to grow, musicians came to be. These ancient musicians played music for others on the instruments that they would make and performed for many.

The Journey Of The Corpse Essay

Medieval China, as seen in the Stories from a Ming Collection, was characterized by distinct separations between men and women’s abilities, typical old fashioned family structure, and a desire to advance their social status. Throughout all the stories in this book, it dives deep into different aspects of how men and women are treated, how families were structured and how that affects their lives, as well as the values these people held. A very common trend in the stories was how different men and women were treated and the limitations they may or may not had.

Grateful Dead Essay

Throughout history there have been many musical "influences". One extremely important influence to modern music is The Grateful Dead.

An Analysis of Dickinson’s I Felt a Funeral in My Brain Essay

Emily Dickinson was a poet who used many different devices to develop her poetry, which made her style quite unique. A glance at one of her poems may lead one to believe that she was quite a simple poet, although a closer examination of her verse would uncover the complexity it contains.

Essay about Funeral - Personal Narrative

now. The only thing I can do now is pray and hope. To pray that I will

Descriptive Essay About My Funeral

Today was funeral day. My mom’s funeral. It was a dark October thursday, the clouds were brewing a storm. A slight breeze disturbed my neck. My uncomfortable suit sleeves bellowed in the cold breeze.. I hadn’t felt any emotions since the day of her death, which was weeks ago, almost as if my emotion is grey. It was warm then, as my mind was too. Nowadays, up until today, my mind has been a dark fog, as if my mind was released into the sky, darkening everyone’s day, arriving at my mom’s funeral or just to cuddle up with their friends and family in front of a warm crackling fire, telling the stories of their childhood and how times were better. Not me, my dad usually ignored me and he only worked on managing my mom’s fortune. Yeah. My mom’s

Essay on The Dead

In the novel The Dead, Gabriel Conroy, who is the nephew of Julia and Kate Morkan, is the main character of the story. One night he and his wife attended a party, which was given by his two aunts, and there were many other members in the party. The story revolves around their life and memories.Gabriel Conroy felt a blur between his soul and the dead. Some people died, but they are still alive because they have true love. Some people are alive, but they are still dead because they never love.I like the story for three reasons.

William Worden 's Tasks Of Grief Essay

(J.) William Worden’s Tasks of Grief model outline the major tasks or stages the KC described during her interview (Worden & Winokuer, 2011). KC discussed how she has to come to terms with the loss of the Chontay; her feelings of shock and disbelief; everything seemed surreal, as if in a dream. KC experienced intense pain, while her and her family worked through their feelings / thoughts of Chontay’s impending death (Worden & Winokuer, 2011). KC also experienced numerous emotions of intense sadness, emptiness, numbness, and anger (Worden & Winokuer, 2011).

Death in the Story of an Hour Essay

Traditionally, women have been known as the less dominant sex. They have been stereotyped as being only housewives and bearers of the children. Many interesting characters in literature are conceived from the tension women have faced with men. This tension is derived from men; society, in general; and within a woman herself. Kate Chopin‘s short story, “The Story of an Hour”, focus on a woman’s dilemma near the turn of the 19th century. Contradicting the “normal” or sad assumption of death, “The Story of an Hour” illustrates the significance of death representing freedom. The Story narrates about an hour of Louise Mallard’s life, as she tries to understand, and deal with her feelings of her husbands death.

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poetry essay on funeral blues

Funeral Blues And Remember Analysis

The valley of broken heart analysis.

In our lives there will always be grieving in some type of form, in “ The Valley of Broken Hearts” Mrs. Joe lost her husband 13 years ago due to lung cancer. In “ New Development Stirs Old Case” the wife of Mr. Renfroe was strangled and found dead on his kitchen floor. Lastly in “French Quarter’s Black Tapping Feet” Rose suffered a great loss the loss of a parent. In every article, each individual had one thing in common they all had a heartache that dealt with death. Death is something that is unpredictable.

O Captain My Captain And Elegy For Elald Whitwell's War Poem Analysis

O Captain! My Captain and Elegy for JFK, poems that reflect feelings of dealing with death, in their case the death of a president. President Lincoln and John F. Kennedy respectively. The stronger of the two poems is the Elegy for JFK. Though Whitman 's poem is well written and full of emotion, Auden expresses the theme of loss so much better than that of Whitman’s work; It’s easy to comprehend, has a better understanding of the importance of remembrance, and Auden’s execution is superior. The feeling of loss is something every person has experienced in some way, and Auden managed to capture that feeling in Elegy for JFK firmly.

Diction And Syntax In The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn

To “pass on” to “die” or to “reincarnate” is not only a prevalent part of our society, but an important subject that we all must address. When someone dies, most often we journey through and emotional upheaval. Authors use death to show character development in literary works. Diction and Syntax will be examined through two sources. The first source is an excerpt from the book by Mark Twain entitled “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. The second source is a poem by Sylvia Plath entitled “I am Vertical”. Both sources provide scenarios in which death is a key emotional factor. Through diction and syntax, the works of Mark Twain and Sylvia Plath reveal that the concept of death is a way to portray character development and a realization that

Shaving Poem Analysis

As one begins to face life challenges, one’s maturity is put to the test. In the story, “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst, the speaker allows his ego to rise above him which ultimately causes the death of his brother. On the other hand, the speaker in “Shaving” by Leslie Norris acknowledges that his father is dying maturely steps up and takes his father’s role in the family. The speaker in Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, “Annabel Lee,” has an immature response towards the death of his loved one and cannot cope with the reality of the situation. The speaker in each work has to rely on their maturity to lead them through the hardships life has to offer. All three authors make clear that maturity drives one’s ability to cope with life’s challenges.

Comparing Poems 'Remember And The Cross Of Snow'

The two poems, “Remember” and “The Cross of Snow,” both discuss death but take different views on the subject. “Remember” explains that people should remember the dead but also move on so they can be happy; while, “The Cross of Snow” describes someone that cannot move on from the death of their loved one and is sad. Through conveying their messages, each poem uses various literary techniques. Although both poems use metaphors and powerful diction, “The Cross of Snow” employs a heavier use of imagery.

At David's Grave Poem Analysis

The short “At David’s Grave,” by Denise Levertov talks about a deceased loved one that is with them while being at the cemetery. David is around them in the “open field, in sunlight, among the few trees,” (Levertov). He is only there because they are there with him, and whenever they leave he is with them, going with them as the good things that come. To live their lives with happiness and the joy that comes with living life each day. They know that he is never alone at the cemetery, never laying in the field filled with cold graves.

Edna St. Vincent Millay's Time Does Not Bring Relief

In “Time Does Not Bring Relief” by Edna St. Vincent Millay, the speaker is a woman who has lost someone she loved and everywhere she goes she gets reminded of how much she misses him, and how time does not always heal all wounds. In Chris Forhan “Gouge, Adze, Rasp, Hammer” the speaker reveals how he is disappointed that he has lost a loved one but as time goes on he is healing and accepted it.

Sacrifice In Bruce Dawe's 'Drifters'

The poem “Drifters” by Bruce Dawe explores how sacrifice is needed to belong in a family, the effects of moving communities, and how maturity is largely related to age. Through exploring these themes, Dawe shows the complex nature of identity and belonging in a family.

To An Athlete Dying Young Analysis

Whether a love poem, or a death poem, poetry is always composed with a specific task in mind the author is attempting to accomplish. The task may range from admiring someone or something, or even commenting upon the ills of society, but nevertheless, poetry is always written with the intent of delivering a powerful and meaningful message. Such is the case with the two poems, “Homage to My Hips” and “To an Athlete Dying Young.” Each poem utilizes certain elements differently such as symbolism, the topics of love and death, and emotional connection to bring the reader’s attention to significant societal issues, and illustrate the affect those issues have upon those in society. These poems are similar in that they both celebrate some aspect of

Out Of The Blue Poem Analysis

The poem is narrated by the voice of the dead. The text is related in a very personal manner, the poem being

Eyes Fastened With Pins Rhetorical Devices

{I can’t think of a dang introduction sentence for the life of me. Good thing this is a rough draft]. Together with four classmates in my English class, I created an anthology of five poems on the theme of death. The authors within the anthology include Bill Knott, Dusan “Charles” Simic, Donald Justice, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Kathleen Ossip. My favorite poem in the anthology is “Eyes Fastened With Pins” by Dusan “Charles” Simic, as it is well written, with the use of rhetorical devices and personal experience, to ultimately convey his belief that death is inevitable, no more or less special for anyone in particular.

Upsetting The Chain Of Being Stephen King Analysis

The Chain of Being is a medieval concept which states every living being’s place in the hierarchy of society. Though ancient, it applies to William Shakespeare 's Macbeth and Stephen King’s “Gramma.” Upsetting the Chain of Being by George from Stephen King’s “Gramma” and Macbeth from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth lead to the dire consequences such as Macbeth’s demise and George turning into a savage witch.

Harlem Shadows Mckay

The first author that I have chosen to write about is Claude Mckay. “Claude Mckay was born into a poor farm-working family in Sunny Ville, Clarendon Parish, Jamaica, and spent half of his life on the British Caribbean Island” (Norton 2721). As I noticed while reading a brief description about Claude Mckay he had a rough upbringing and had a harsh life like most authors did. Mckay had several jobs such as a cabinetmaker and a police. As stated in the Norton, “Walter Jekyll, encouraged him to write in Jamaican dialect, or Creole” (Norton 2721). This was the start of Mckay’s writing of literature and what made him become who he was. He switched his poetry from Jamaican to English and helped cause the Harlem Renaissance with his sonnet Harlem Shadows.

An Analysis Of I Cannot Forget By Alexander Kimel

“I Cannot Forget” is a poem written by Alexander Kimel in 1942 in which he tackles his experience in the Ghetto of Rohatyn. The title of the poem suggests an internal conflict from which the poet suffers. He wants to forget the days when “{The Jews} lived in terribly overcrowded quarters, were given too little to eat and little or no medicine and were forced to work in factories” (Abzug 110). However, he knows very well that he should not because millions of people died for the sake of one man.

Emily Dickinson's I Felt A Funeral In My Brain

The poet Emily Dickinson in her poem, I Felt a Funeral in my Brain that is the first line of the poem, not a special title that Dickinson chose. It tells about the story of the experience of the speaker in the poem who is transforming from place to another. Many readers would take this poem as an explanation of what happens after death, what the dead body feels in the funeral. In my opinion, this poem talks about the enlighten road that humans would feel when they explore a new idea of living, it’s not necessary to be about the other life after death. It depends about how people see their lives. In this essay, I will explain the imageries that this poem states and what are the hidden messages that the writer is trying to make the reader feel and explore.

More about Funeral Blues And Remember Analysis

Funeral Blues Poem Analysis

poetry essay on funeral blues

Show More The poems, “Funeral Blues”, by W.H. Auden and “From Long Distance”, by Tony Harrison are about the feelings of sadness and mourning over the loss of a loved one. Both poems reflect how much death affects people, as well as how people are unable to let go of a loved one. The poet of the first poem is frustrated and expresses feelings of love as well as anger towards the death of his loved one. The second poem is about how the poet’s father cannot forget about his wife and therefore conveys the feelings of love and sadness. This essay will focus on how the feelings of loss were conveyed in the two poems. The poet has been deeply affected by the death of his loved one that he wants to be isolated from the world. He doesn’t want to continue living …show more content… The poet’s father still hasn’t gotten over his wife, even two years after her death. The poet is sad however, his father is even more damaged by the blow of the death of his loved one, that he does things as if she were still there. This is conspicuous as the writer states, “Though my mother was already two years dead, dad kept her slippers warming by the gas”. He uses imagery to express how the father continued to behave as if everything was normal although the mother is dead. In addition to this, the poet creates the impression of his father in a way that the audience empathizes for …show more content… The poet’s father creates a façade because he is embarrassed that he still thinks his wife will come back. This is noticeable when the poet says, “He'd put you off an hour to give him time, to clear away her things and look alone”. The poet’s father is so embarrassed that he doesn’t even want his son to be stunned by his own conduct. To the poet’s father, his love is seemingly such a wrongdoing that he goes so far as to cover up all the uncanny things when people come. This, as well, makes the audience empathize with the poet as he goes through the distress of watching his father in refusal of the wife’s

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Essay Service Examples Literature Funeral Blues

Remember by Christina Rossetti and Funeral Blues by W.H Auden: Comparative Essay

Two poems, Remember by Christina Rossetti and Funeral blues by W.H Auden have the same motif of loss yet are almost the antithesis of one another in execution of attitudes to death. The speaker, Christina Rossetti in her poem Remember entreats her lover for remembrance after death yet speaks with a poignant realism in the acceptance that he may forget her for a while, seeing it as ultimately better for him to “forget and smile” than to “remember and be sad.” It appears Rossetti is optimistic that once one has died, they vicariously live on in other minds hence the repetition of “Remember”. Contrarily, the speaker W.H Auden, in his poem Funeral Blues speaks the immensities of his grief in reaction to the loss of his partner and of his irritation to the worlds refusal to slow down to pay respects and grieve alongside him. He presents loss as deeply isolating as he has lost his “North… South… East… and West.” without guidance and cut off from the world as it continues, he does not display the same shift in attitude as Rossetti and so is greatly pessimistic throughout.

Each poet takes a distinct approach to presenting their attitudes to loss through careful use of form and structure. Rossetti’s Remember is a Petrarchan Sonnet, in the octet Rossetti renounces physical body and contemplates loss, “no more hold my hand” in the view that death is merely physical. This is supported by Rossetti’s use of “remember” and “when”. The sonnet also utilizes the classic Petrarchan rhyme scheme until the volta, marked by “yet” into the sestet where the rhyme scheme is original. The pattern Rossetti writes in (CDD ECE) is disruptive, hinting at the speaker’s uncomfortable thoughts surrounding loss, this, paired with the rhyming of “had” and “sad”, highlights the unsettling disjunction between remembering and forgetting in loss. In the sestet the speaker, ironic to the title, renounces remembrance “better by far to forget.” In her transition from pleas for remembrance into the realisation that the memory may bring her lover pain she is selfless, “do not grieve” In an optimistic view of eventual remembrance. The overall meter, iambic pentameter is strict overall suggesting restraint of her true feelings. However, the slight shift in lines 1, 2, 7 and 13 hint at her passion towards the reader.

In contrast to this, funeral blues is a melancholic, tragic elegy. The poem contains 4 quatrains of elegiac stanza, with the rhyming heroic couplets elevating the speaker’s tragic reaction to loss. Each quatrain represents a different area of his loss, the first two are domestic focusing on the impersonal home and public reactions and his irritation towards a lack thereof, “put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves.” with the dove a symbol of peace and purity, presenting his desire for quiet in his healing. The last two quatrains are incredibly personal and concentrate on the loss of faith “I was wrong.” and nature parallel to the loss of W. H Auden’s lover. The speaker is finite and conclusive, the 4 elements mean nothing anymore and are exasperating in their infinite presence. In similarity to Rossetti’s Remember, the meter of funeral blues is broadly iambic pentameter. W.H Auden however makes a vastly variated use of this meter, the deviations and shifts create the notion that Auden is striving yet lacking the ability to control his writing, further proving his definitive anguish and heartbreak.

poetry essay on funeral blues

The poems are largely different in tone, mood, and atmosphere corresponding to their individual views and expectancies for life after death. Rossetti’s Remember is incredibly optimistic for the subject matter of loss due to her placement of hope in eventual remembrance. In the octet her earnest and intense passion override her tone, it is imperative to Rossetti that the reader holds onto her memory in the eventuality of her death, “Remember me when I am gone away,”. However, after the volta into the sestet Rossetti has an extreme change of heart and her tone is gentle and considerate, “yet if you should forget me for a while”, Rossetti no longer sees this as an ultimate negative as it allows her lover to feel happiness. Contrastingly, W.H Auden holds extreme pessimism throughout. Auden has no faith in the continuation of life beyond our world, his use of monosyllabic short sentences paired with caesural pauses, “: I was wrong.” proves his tragic, excruciating view that death is finite and absolute, Auden Is frank, honest, and direct. The speaker is at odds to Rossetti in mood and reaction, he is arguably selfish and bitter in his lover’s loss, “The stars are not wanted now: Put out every one;” Auden takes it upon himself to speak for everyone as if the world revolves around his feelings in belief that the world is no longer pure.

Whilst the poets are vastly different in their attitudes to loss, they use alike devices to display them to the reader. Christina Rossetti creates a peaceful perspective of death in remember, “Gone far away into the silent land;” This metaphor is a euphemism, it lessens the frightening thoughts of death and places distance between herself and the living, paired with the repetition of “gone away” further proving the separation of herself in physical form and in spiritual form. The repetition of “remember” has different desired effect as the sonnet progresses, as in the sestet the subtle return “afterwards remember” to the first word of the poem along with the title, gently transitions from the then use of imperative into a sympathetic, selfless relationship once again between remember and forget. Rossetti’s imagery of “darkness and corruption” foresee her view that once her lover has finished grieving and there is only a “vestige” of her left, that she can then fully and freely live on after the tragedy of her death as a spiritual body.

The effects of Rossetti’s use of language and imagery to portray her expectations of loss greatly contrast those of W.H Auden despite similar techniques. In Funeral Blues, Auden also begins with an imperative, “stop all the clocks” emphasizing the speaker’s loss whilst also serving two separate purposes as a double entendre. Firstly, it signifies Auden’s desire for the world to freeze. Secondly, it begins the theme of silence in the first quatrain proving the speaker’s irritable mood in response to loss. W.H Auden also uses personification, proving the wildness of his mind in the interest of believing what he would like to hear… that the world has turned to pay respects, “let the traffic policemen wear cotton gloves.” an otherwise natural uniform. The speaker in the powerful, final stanza of them poem, figuratively creates ultimate darkness, ending the poem with Auden in a deep, solemn anguish, rejecting all sustenance in an extreme reaction to his tragic, thought to be infinite loss.

In essence, these two poems whilst sharing a theme of loss are incredibly different. Christina Rossetti, in her dream world comforts herself in the belief that she will live on in her lover’s mind in peace. However, I have preference towards the honest, plain-spoken, and candid attitude of W.H Auden towards loss as I believe that his version of events displays powerful passion.

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Literary Analysis of Devices Used in Funeral Blues

Everyone has feelings. Whether it be sad feelings or happy feelings. We all express those feelings emotionally or physically. But how do poets express these feelings onto paper? Imagery is a literary term that is used for description and language that appeals to our five senses. A hyperbole is an exaggerated statement, while symbolism is the use of symbols to represent ideas. In the poem “Funeral Blues” by W.H. Auden, the true feelings of the speaker are shown in a magnificent way by figurative language. W.H. Auden established the speaker’s feelings of sorrow and hopelessness using imagery, hyperboles, and symbolism.

“Funeral Blues” is a poem written by W.H. Auden in 1938. This poem is about an unknown speaker and his suffering of a friend’s death. The poem is set with the speaker at his friend’s funeral. The first part of the poem really brings out the speaker’s feelings about his friends death. During the second part of the poem, it shows the speakers personal view. The author really brings out the speaker’s feelings throughout this poem, which makes the readers get pulled into this beautiful poem. Imagery is a huge element in many poems. Poets use imagery in their poems to convey their messages, just like how W.H. Auden did in “Funeral Blues”. The first part of the poem starts off with the author showing the speakers sorrow at his/her friends funeral. The speaker is at the funeral and says, “Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead scribbling on the sky the message ‘He is Dead”’ (Auden 5-6). This quote really shows how the speaker feels. It shows that the speaker is in a phase of acceptance of his friends death. Not only that, but also it shows confirmation of his friends death.

Correspondingly the speaker also says “Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves” (7). Similarly as above, another very unrealistic demand the speaker is asking for. The speaker is trying to show his love for his friend by asking very unreasonable things. These two examples of imagery the author has used has set the start of the poem perfectly. These images have led to recognize that the speaker has lost a very dear friend. As well as letting the readers know that the speaker is in a state of sorrow.

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W.H. Auden just didn’t use imagery to show the narrator’s true feelings. He also used symbolism. From the start of the poem to the end, the speaker was very mad and sad that his friend was dead. During the first stanza of the poem, the speaker says “cut off the telephone.” What the speaker is saying is literally to cut off the telephone. But the author used this quote as a symbol, that the communication between the speaker and his friend had been severed.

Even though the speaker feels as if he lost ties with his best friend now, he still remembers how helpful he was. In the time of despair in the funereal, the speaker says “He was my North, my South, my Eastand West.” This quote should not be taken literally. The true meaning of this is that the speaker’s friend gave him everything. He gave him wisdom and guidance and that he could not have asked for anything more from a friend. In the two examples above the author uses great symbolism to describe the speaker. Symbolism was a great add by the author, because it showed the speaker as in despair and hopelessness.

Additionally, W.H. Auden hyperboles as other ways to portray the speaker’s feelings. By the end of the poem W.H. Auden uses hyperboles as a way of telling the reader that the speaker feels hopeless. The speaker says “Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun.” Obviously the speaker could never dismantle the sun or pack up the moon. But the speakers grief and hopelessness is so intense that he wishes he could. The speaker’s loss and hopeless can was really shown to the readers in this line. The use of hyperbole in this poem was also shown when speaker said,“Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.” Again none of these statements actually make any literal sense. But these statements have a figurative meaning. Just like the example before, the speaker is trying to convey his loss in things that are physically not possible. What this does is that it tells the readers the extent of his hopelessness. W.H. Auden used hyperboles in a superb way at the end of the poem to really wrap around the fact that the speaker is beyond sadness he/she is hopeless.

As shown above, the W.H. Auden as really demonstrated his use of figurative language. From the title to the last word, he portrayed imagery, symbolism, and hyperboles. The use of imagery and symbolism was key to this poem, as it showed the readers the speakers sorrow. In addition the hyperboles use by the author, gave the readers a moment to understand the hopelessness of the speaker. Overall W.H. Auden did a fantastic job in how he presented the emotion in the poems through figurative language.

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  2. Funeral Blues Poem

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  4. Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden

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  5. 👍 Who wrote funeral blues. W. H. Auden: Poems “Funeral Blues (Stop All the Clocks)” Summary and

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  6. Funeral Blues by W.H.Auden

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  1. Funeral Blues (Stop all the clocks)

    ' Funeral Blues ' by W.H. Auden is about the power of grief and the way that it influences people differently. For someone like the speaker who has suffered a loss, the world is transformed. But to everyone else, nothing changes. Time doesn't slow down, and no one cares what's happening.

  2. Funeral Blues (Stop all the clocks) Summary & Analysis

    Get LitCharts A +. "Funeral Blues" was written by the British poet W. H. Auden and first published in 1938. It's a poem about the immensity of grief: the speaker has lost someone important, but the rest of the world doesn't slow down or stop to pay its respects—it just keeps plugging along on as if nothing has changed.

  3. Funeral Blues Essay Analysis Example

    In W. H. Auden's poem "Funeral Blues," a woman loses her lover and cannot even imagine how she is going to get on with her life; she puts her deceased companion on a God-like pedestal; and she loves him so much that she believes that he is her whole world.

  4. Funeral Blues: a Literary Review of The Poem

    Funeral Blues was a great poem with a lot of imagery, which made it easier for you to understand how the narrator was feeling the whole time, and how he thought that without his lover, the world meant nothing. Remember! This is just a sample. You can get your custom paper by one of our expert writers. Get custom essay 121 writers online

  5. Literary Analysis Of Funeral Blues By W. H. Auden: [Essay Example], 757

    Funeral Blues is divided into four stanzas. The first two stanzas focuse on the mourning of a loss of a close friend. In the first stanza the speaker asks that the clocks be stopped, the telephone be cut off so it cannot ring, the dog be kept quiet with a bone to gnaw, and the stopping of the pianos being played.

  6. "The Funeral Blues" by WH Auden

    The Funeral Blues is a poem written by WH Auden in 1930 speaks of how the all-encompassing death of a partner is expected to bring sobriety and restrain the natural forces (Kennedy, et all, 2004). This paper provides an analysis of the poem. Speaker of the Poem

  7. Funeral Blues Questions and Answers

    Discuss the form of the poem "Funeral Blues." Explain the first four lines of "Funeral Blues" by W. H. Auden. Explain the importance of the last stanza of Auden's "Funeral Blues." Analyze each ...

  8. "Funeral Blues" Poem by Wystan Hugh Auden Essay

    This paper will analyze the poem "Funeral Blues" by Wystan Hugh Auden and show how each part contributes to the theme of the poem. Analysis In the poem, the poet mourns the death of someone who he is very close to and with whom he says they shared everything they had. The poet uses a harsh tone to begin his poem.

  9. Funeral Blues.

    Jazz Funerals Life is really short, and many people don't come to realize it until someone passes away. You only live once and life is a gift that we should all cherish and appreciate every day. As we all know, everyone has a time to go and for many people it is a sad and depressing time.

  10. FUNERAL BLUES essays

    The poem "Funeral Blues", written by W. H. Auden, is based on a loved one who is deceased. The poem is written based on nontraditional and traditional elements. This poem is also based on several different themes such as death, love, order and disorder, and also meaning of love.

  11. Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden Essay

    W.H. Auden wrote the poem, "Funeral Blues". Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-1973) was born in York, England, and later became and American citizen. Auden was the founder for a generation of English poets, such as C. Day Lewis, and Stephen Spender. Auden's earlier works were composed of a Marxist outlook with a knowledge of Freudian Psychology.

  12. Free Funeral Blues Essays and Papers

    Funeral Blues by W. H. Auden is a short poem that illustrates the emotions that he is dealing with after the love of his life passes away. The tone of this piece evokes feelings that will differ depending on the reader; therefore, the meaning of this poem is not in any way one-dimensional, resulting in inevitable ambiguity .

  13. The Mood in Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden Essays

    Decent Essays. 992 Words. 4 Pages. Open Document. The Mood in Funeral Blues by W.H. Auden The poem, "Funeral Blues", by W.H. Auden tells about a person's grief and is successful in creating a very sad and depressing mood. This is achieved by the poet's use of language, word choice and sentence structure. The way in which the author describes ...

  14. Funeral Blues And Remember Analysis

    Funeral Blues And Remember Analysis. 1774 Words8 Pages. The attitudes to grief over the loss of a loved one are presented in two thoroughly different ways in the two poems of 'Funeral Blues' and 'Remember'. Some differences include the tone towards death as 'Funeral Blues' was written with a more mocking, sarcastic tone towards ...

  15. Funeral Blues Poem Analysis

    The poems, "Funeral Blues", by W.H. Auden and "From Long Distance", by Tony Harrison are about the feelings of sadness and mourning over the loss of a loved one. Both poems reflect how much death affects people, as well as how people are unable to let go of a loved one. The poet of the first poem is frustrated and expresses feelings of ...

  16. Remember by Christina Rossetti and Funeral Blues by W.H Auden

    W.H. Auden wrote Funeral Blues the poem. Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-1973) was born in York, England, and later became and American citizen. Auden was the founder for a generation of English poets, such as C. Day Lewis, and Stephen Spender.

  17. Literary Analysis of Devices Used in Funeral Blues

    In the poem "Funeral Blues" by W.H. Auden, the true feelings of the speaker are shown in a magnificent way by figurative language. W.H. Auden established the speaker's feelings of sorrow and hopelessness using imagery, hyperboles, and symbolism. "Funeral Blues" is a poem written by W.H. Auden in 1938. This poem is about an unknown ...

  18. Poetry Essay On Funeral Blues

    Poetry Essay On Funeral Blues | Best Writing Service Our team of paper writers consists only of native speakers coming from countries such as the US or Canada. But being proficient in English isn't the only requirement we have for an essay writer.