Funeral Blues


Funeral Blues: A Literary Review of the Poem

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

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. 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 America he composed many verse plays, travel memoirs, and Opera lyrics. His last years of life were spent traveling and collaborating works of influential criticism.

Funeral Blues is a Song poem, in which it has a certain rhythm, or beat, which can be sung to. This poem is called a blues song. The blues were originally music developed by the slaves in the south that spoke of sadness, pain, or a time of loss. Blues songs were traditionally composed of three-line stanzas where the first two lines are identical and followed by a concluding riming third line. However, Auden does not include the three-line stanzas in his poem, and it is written in a freestyle form with the rhyming pattern: AA, BB, CC, DD, EE, FF, GG, HH.

Death is the subject of this poem, and becomes clear when Auden says, Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come, . This poem s topic has to do with someone close to the narrator dyeing possibly a lover. Auden uses a great deal of imagery in this poem; such as, Tie crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves, where he is talking about making the doves suitable for a funeral. The tone of this poem, the attitude the writer speaks in, is very depressing and gloomy. For nothing now can ever come to any good, . He is obviously upset about the one that he has lost and is in mourning. The diction of this poem is Modern English with many allusions. 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; this quote shows how close the narrator was to his lover, and how the narrator was deeply in love with him. Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun, Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods; . At the end of this poem, Audin personifies the sun, moon, ocean, and woods; he does not see any point in there beauty anymore now that the lover has died, and wants them to pack up and leave. Throughout this poem the narrator also uses other symbols to explain how the good things in life mean nothing now that the lover is dead.

Rime and Rhythm

I thought that love would last forever, I was wrong:

I thought that this poem was very well written. Auden does an excellent job of using both old qualities of blues, and adding in his own ideas. Using a great deal of allusions, imagery, and personification made it easier to understand what he is feeling. Most of the poem was clear except the sex of the narrator, I believe the narrator to be a male, which would make him gay. The reason I believe this is because the poem seems to be written in a more masculine way than feminine. There is no evidence of this, but I feel as though it was a male narrator. The sex of the narrator is not a major concern in this poem, but it an interesting point, especially for the time era it was written in, when homosexuals were considered dirty . 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.

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The Theme of Loving a Beloved One in the Poem

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

“[Funeral Blues]” was written in the 1900’s by an author named W.H Auden. It is a popular poem, and was included in the British movie “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” in which it is read at a funeral. The poem is about losing a loved one. The narrator has lost the love of their life, and now that they have, nothing else matters- not even life itself. It is touching and sad, and one can assume the narrator is a widow who has just recently lost their spouse. The poem paints a picture for readers, and tries to explain the true pain of how it feels to lose someone who was loved so dearly. “[Funeral Blues]” does an excellent job of displaying themes of grief, love, and depression, all while flowing well and following a rhyme scheme.

The poem shows many emotions- including but not limited to grief, love, remembrance, and depression. The narrator speaks highly of their recently deceased lover. “He was my North, my South, my East and West, my morning week and my Sunday rest, my noon, my midnight, my talk, my song,” (530) it is clear that the narrator thinks their love was the best thing in the world. Now that they are deceased, the narrator feels they cannot go on without them. When Auden writes “The stars are not wanted now; put out every one: pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,” (530) it shows that the narrator does not know how to live without their love, nor do they want to bother trying. It is questionable when the narrator says “I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong” (530). While it is a strong line, especially due to its punctuation, does love not last forever? It seems that if a love is strong enough, it does last forever. This is where the narrator caused slight confusion. Nonetheless, they are extremely in love still, despite the void that cannot be filled. “For nothing now can ever some to any good,” (530). The narrator truly believes that their purpose in life is no longer, just because they lost the love of their life. The first stanza leads the reader to believe the narrator is just going through the motions, but feels numb. “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” (530). They are just letting everything happen, for example, silencing the piano and dog, and letting mourners come and go. But, they also ask for clocks to stop, signifying they do not want it to happen, and they want the telephone cut off, because they do not want to answer it. Not only is speaking to everyone about the death terrible, but it makes it feel real. It is tragically beautiful that the narrator feels this way. But it shows their grieving process, the memories they appreciate with their passed person, and the deep depression they are feeling. Readers can truly feel the emotion the narrator is feeling throughout the poem.

This poem has short stanzas of four lines each, and an AABB rhyme scheme, which is unusual. While unusual, the poem still flows well when read aloud. It is an elegy, which is a reflection poem that is typically reserved for the dead. The poem was organized in an orderly fashion- beginning with tasks, and things that are going on around the narrator. The narrator then shifts to their personal feelings about their recently passed-away love, and it gets intensely deep. Overall, Auden stuck to an interesting rhyme scheme that poets do not typically used, but still managed to make the words flow together. The first line uses hyperboles, because the author is ordering that everything stop solely because of the death of their love. Auden did a great job of staying away from simple language. Because the author used much more in-depth words, it made the poem that much more meaningful. Instead of simply saying they heard an airplane outside, Auden wrote “Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead” (530). By using descriptive language, readers can paint a clearer picture in their minds. When writing “My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song” (530), the author is using metaphors to explain just how important this person was to them. One particular line that seemed emphasized was: “Pour the ocean away and sweep up the wood,” (530), because again hyperbolic metaphors are used- you cannot literally do either of these, assuming the author meant the forest or woods.

As far as themes go, this poem was fairly transparent. Love, depression, remembrance, and grief were repeating factors. But, it seems that pessimism and hopelessness are reoccurring as well. Towards the end, the narrator seems to have given up on everything. The last line specifically highlights the narrator’s pessimism and hopeless outlook on life: “For nothing now can ever come to any good” (530). The speaker even begins the poem unhappily. It seems they wanted to quiet the dog, silence the piano, and just get some peace and quiet. When the speaker explains how much his beloved dead meant to him: “He was my North, my South, my East and West”, it compares to one losing their actual compass in the woods. How will they go on? The narrator is clearly bereaved, and has no intention of moving on. At first, they want to do things correctly and orderly, but they cannot hold themselves together, and an outpour of emotions is released. The readers then get to see a more personal, touching side of the speaker.

Auden brilliantly showed what it is like to go through grieving of someone close to you. “[Funeral Blues]” not only was deep, but was well-written and displays raw emotions to readers. The simple elegy followed a rhyme scheme, and the stanzas went from casual to deep emotion. While it flowed smoothly, the poem properly captured grief, love, and depression. “[Funeral Blues]” wrapped up the devastating mood of funerals.

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The Portrayal of Loss and Love in One-sex Relationship

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

I have chosen to analyse the poem Funeral Blues by Wystan Hugh Auden. He was a homosexual and wrote it for his boyfriend Christopher Isherwood that died from prostate cancer. The two of them met during their studies and had a very intense relationship. This poem has a very dark feeling to it; you can sense it just by reading the title. It is filled with emotions anyone who has lost someone can relate to.

Funeral Blues was published in The Year’s poetry in 1938, it is written by Wystan Hugh Auden in London. At this time being homosexual was not accepted, actually it was illegal, so the author must have been brave to show this to the world. The poem does not belong to a specific period; the timing is in between the first and the Second World War. Jews were not the only minority that were treated inhumanly at this time; homosexuals were also being killed and sent to the concentration camps.

Funeral Blues is a tribute to Christopher from Wystan, he uses the poem as a way to say his final goodbye. The poem does not really have a timeframe; the perspective of time does not really matter in this setting[SBH1] . Most people lose track of time when they are having a hard time coping with something. It can go days or even weeks without you registering the time that has passed by. Life does not stop for tragedies; everyone around you is still living their lives. In contrast, your world has been turned upside down and banal issues does not matter anymore. Wystan Hugh Auden is reading this poem to his boyfriend at his funeral.

There are both four stanzas and four lines in each stanza. No obvious repetitions can be found in the poem, however, the first letter of the midline repeats in the two last stanzas. This could be a coincidence, although, it makes an effect on the final look of the poem. The last word in the two first rhymes as well as the two last words in the last two lines. For instance telephone and bone from the first two lines in the first stanza. There are exceptions in the first stanza in the two last lines and the two first lines in the last stanza.

The title of the poem is Funeral Blues, the reason why it is called this is obviously because it is a poem written for a funeral. The colour blue is also often associated with something negative or gloomy. “Having the blues” is a phrase that refers to being sad or depressed. The author plays with emotions, the way he writes makes the reader feel the pain he is feeling. In fact, it is enough that someone who lost the love of their life wrote it. Describing feelings like that makes us feel compassion for him, as well as making a strong impression. He describes their love in such a beautiful way, tragic feelings of desperation comes to life.

The author uses a lot of metaphors and imagery to describe how much his boyfriend meant to him. For instance, “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”, this symbolizes that he was everything to him, without him he is completely lost. Life has no meaning after a tragedy like this one. It is like all of you happiness is drained from your body. Like you will never be happy again. The author is describing the love he felt for this man as well as how much it hurt to lose him.

“Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves” is an image used in the poem. Policemen usually wear white gloves, but white is a way too light color to describe the darkness the author feels. In his opinion, everything around him should turn dark, because how can anything be light when his love has died?

The words in this poem can be interpreted in many ways, an example is the two first lines; “Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone. Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone.” I think what the author tries to convey in the first sentence is that when someone you care about dies you lose track of the time. Everything around you just stop, nothing matters anymore. Secondly, you are getting disconnected to the rest of the world. After a tragedy, you do not think of things such as checking your Facebook or mail for instance. The second sentence can also have several meanings. It could be a reminder of that things do get better after a while, you just have to get through the worst part.

Loss and love are definitely the themes in this poem, one can easily tell. Loss because the author lost his boyfriend and reads this at his funeral. He is describing how hard it is to get through losing that one person that mattered the most. Grieving is not fun, however, it is a necessary part of moving on. Funeral Blues also says something about that love is love, no matter who it is. You can love a man or woman and it does not matter because the person you love is everything to you.

Funeral Blues definitely succeeds in describing what it means to lose someone you love and how to deal with it. Considering the time this is written in, it is incredible of the author to publish this. Things like that is a huge step for humanity. I think that this poem is giving a lot of inspiration to homosexuals today that they should be ashamed of who they love. One should not let other people define you or prevent you from living your life. However, it does not necessarily need to be about being homosexual. No matter your sexual orientation, dealing with loss is tough for everyone. Looking past the part about sexualities, Funeral Blues can relate to anyone.

Informal text:

Have you heard about a poem called Funeral Blues by Wystan Hugh Auden? It’s the most touching and emotional thing I’ve ever read! The poem is written by a homosexual man who loses his boyfriend to prostate cancer, he reads it aloud in his funeral. This was written in 1938 when you could get arrested for being homosexual, so I find that fascinating! You will love the way he describes their love, I think anyone who has ever been in love can relate to those feelings. It’s hard to cope after someone you love die, this author uses beautiful metaphors to illustrate that. I really recommend that you check it out, you won’t regret it

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