Explication of “Funeral Blues”
W.H. Auden (1907-1973)
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.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
“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 for ever: I was wrong.
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.
W.H. Auden’s poem “Funeral Blues” is a poem consisting of four quatrains and is closed form. We know that it is closed form because it has meter and rhyme. The meter is iambic pentameter and the rhyme scheme is AABB. The point of view for this very emotional poem is first person participant and the persona is a female. This woman is grieving over her lover who has recently died. The first three lines of the first stanza tell about getting ready for the funeral. The last line of the first stanza through the end of the second stanza explains the funeral as it is happening. The last two stanzas of the poem are explaining the after feelings of the funeral and the seclusion that the lonesome lover feels without her mate. Gloomy and depressed are the moods that a reader feels as they read this poem. “Funeral Blues” is a poem that uses many different elements of poetry to help a reader understand the meaning of this poem.
There are two possible themes for the poem “Funeral Blues”. The trauma that results from death can cause a person to lose perspective. This is the first theme that a reader can observe from this poem. The lady who had lost her lover is in...