Premium Essay

Funeral Blues

In: English and Literature

Submitted By redhead505
Words 414
Pages 2
Irish McCarthy
Dr. Gomez
English 1120
4 March 2015
The Many Tones of W.H. Auden’s “Funeral Blues”
Written in the first person, the speaker of “Funeral Blues” by W.H. Auden tells the story of deep grief over the death of a loved one. Although it is not clear if the speaker is male or female, to avoid confusion we are going to assume the speaker is a male. Auden’s use of tone, imagery, and metaphors make it is clear that the speaker wants others to feel the same grief, pain and hopelessness he feels. The tone of the first two stanzas is direct and forceful combined with sound and visual imagery the poem starts off pretty strong demanding the world to be silenced “Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, prevent the dogs from barking.” He also demanded that the pianos be silenced and the drums muffled. It almost feels like he wants everyone to pay attention and show more respect to what he is going through, everyone needs to feel his pain. The telephone being cut off represents the loss of communication with his beloved. Visual imagery takes over throughout the second stanza starting with planes writing a message in the sky the reads “He Is Dead” leading to the imagery of doves wearing bows and traffic police wearing “black cotton gloves” eludes to the idea that someone very important just died and the public needs to acknowledge it. The third stanza the tone changes from demanding to reflective in the first line “He was my North, my South, my East and West” expressing how important the deceased was to his life when he was alive. The speaker ends the third stanza with “I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong”, the fact that Auden used a colon after forever dramatically brings the attention to the idea that when we die, loves dies. The tone of the last stanza becomes forceful, irrational and a bit cynical. He wants the stars to stop shining, the sun…...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Funeral Blues

...Haley Hill Benton Eng104 Funeral Blues In W.H. Auden’s poem, “Funeral Blues”, the emotional writing is spell-bounding. It is originally a traditional blues song, and blues are always known for their melancholy tone that expounds the hard-won wisdom of bitter life experience. The song shown as a poem really portrays the emotional imagery and the rhyme it uses. It is obvious in the title that the poem is about a funeral. Auden creates, through his images of solemn, sadness and pain, looking deeper into somebody’s pain for the loss of a loved one. The first four lines are an interesting beginning to such a poem: 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. The author uses an interesting technique to open this poem. He is telling everything to quiet down, and to listen, as the funeral proceeds to happen. End rhyme is used in all four lines, in the form of two couplets. The rhyme correlates with this poem well because it’s also a song, and it runs off the tongue nicely. The examples of things that need to be silenced, like the clocks, the barking dogs, and the telephones, are interesting things to focus on. It opens up that this funeral is a great loss, and all life must pause while the mourners come. Even when I read the first simple stanza, I feel that the tone quality is solemn, when it may not even mean to be. As the poem......

Words: 893 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Funeral Blue Analysis

...Christie Surin Mrs. Robinson Eng 1002-13 26 February 2013 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......

Words: 774 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Compare-Contrast Critical Analysis Essay

...ENGL102 Jason Sebacher March 5, 2014 Essentially I feel that each poem in its own “Funeral Blues” (W. H. Auden), “Death, be not proud” (John Donne), and “Because I could not stop for Death” (Emily Dickinson) are unique in their own way however, I feel that two poems in particular may show more similarity in each other versus all three being compared at once although, I will be comparing and contrasting all three poems towards the end of this essay. For example, When reading “Funeral Blues” (W. H. Auden), I felt a greater sense of similarity to “Because I could not stop for death” (Emily Dickinson) versus “Death, be not proud” (John Donne) so I will begin to discuss those poems first. When comparing each poem I will list the related styles between the two and the same for contrasting each when discussing the distinctive differences. In “Funeral Blues”; a poem about the mourning of a dear loved one, Auden used a great sense of imagery when writing to assist the audience in creating a mental picture. Each line used a great amount of detail for example, when Auden wrote “Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead scribbling in the sky the message he is dead.” It was easy for me to actually picture this statement mentally due to his choice of words. Also, he uses a rhyme scheme that is successful in expressing the deep mourning and sorrow that he feels. The same feelings expressed in “Funeral Blues” can also be felt in “Because I could not stop for death” (Emily......

Words: 1055 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Mr.Lam

...Michael Billington Dr. Oguine College English 1202 ZAH Poetry Paper March 2, 2004 Death Reflected in Three Poems 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 poems about death, such as “The last Night that She lived” (843), which describes a family waiting for a woman or girl to die and the dreary and depressed mood that exists within the household. Mourning is considered a perfectly healthy reaction when someone who is deeply loved and cared about passes on, and this is illustrated in “The Memory of Elena” (1070-71) by Carolyn Forche. She writes about the events following a funeral and also flashes back to the actual moment that a wife has watched her husband die. W.H Auden’s “Funeral Blues,” Carolyn Forche’s “The Memory of Elena,” and Emily Dickinson’s “The last Night that She lived” are all poems which share death as their subject matter, but differ in the fact that they discuss death in a unique style with a variety of literary devices to make them more effective. Upon reading these poems, I could relate to each strongly on a personal level. Each poem expresses a different view of death and the different......

Words: 1726 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

How African-American Culture Conceived Jazz

...honky tonks and dance halls were located “near the corner of Liberty and Perdido Streets” (Brothers 33). In those honky tonks, the blues was played, but not to express sorrow and pain. Instead, the blues was played to get people into the mood for all sorts of naughty escapades. Brothers uses a quote from Pops Foster to elaborate on what went down inside the hot spots: ‘…dicty…nothing but waltzes…But after midnight then they would do the blues and quadrilles, slow drag and more. That was all honky tonk. You would see all them sporting women come in after they’d finished their work…That’s about the time I would be in there. The quadrille people were a tough gang’ (150). In addition to the dirty dancing and whiny blues that influenced people to have sex with each other, the pimps were one of the main attractions in the honky tonks and dance halls. “Pimping brought ‘notoriety,’ a kind of status. It showed an ability to get over, and an understanding of how to take advantage of the disadvantages through interpersonal skill, intimidation, and daring” (Brothers 200). All of the males in the dance halls wanted to be pimps because the pimps happened to be the musicians who had all of the females they wanted; this lifestyle of pimping was a way to assert one’s masculinity and sexuality. In addition to pimping, just playing the blues had its benefits. For example, Brothers states, “Sexual seduction provided one obvious way for a musician to articulate......

Words: 1280 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Memorial Park

...Blue Heaven Memorial Park and Resort Business Plan The Blue Heaven Memorial Park and Resort business plan presented on the following pages is based on research for a Blue Heaven Memorial Park and Resort business in Inawayan, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur. It was developed by self-made marketing specialist, Bernardo F. Basmayor, Proprietor of Bottomline Interactive Multimedia Speech Laboratory and Educational Technology. Blue Heaven Memorial Park and Resort Scenario Blue Heaven Memorial Park and Resort is located at Inawayan, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur. The currently non-operational organic fertilizer facility, containing an area of 23,240 sq. m., is available for sale at Php250.00 per sq. m.. Blue Heaven Memorial Park and Resort is seeking a Php7,793,000.00 loan to completely purchase the land located at Inawayan, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur and to develop the site into a memorial park, coupled with a well landscaped resort facility. The business can have a minimum total sales revenue of Php84,000,000.00 for the total 5,600 lots available for sale at a minimum of Php15,000.00 per lot, aside from the income generated from the sales of mausoleum, maintenance service fees and the resort fees. Prevailing price of memorial lots is Php20,000.00 to 79,000.00 per lot (from actual interviews and from internet sources). The purchase of this 23,240 sq. m. area is a good purchase because this is cheap and the area is very strategically located near the Inawayan cemetery; located in an...

Words: 9033 - Pages: 37

Premium Essay

5 People You Meet in Heaven Literary Analysis

...again”(Pg 70). The third time he tried saving someone was when the squad was burning down the village they were kept hostage. Eddie thought he saw a shadow running through the flames and tried to save what he thought was a person put his squad had to subdue him. No matter the danger he puts himself in, Eddie will always try to save another’s life. A theme commonly found in the story is there are no random acts in life. What this means is that every action has a consequence whether it be a good or bad one. One example of this theme is how Eddie and the Blue Man are connected. Eddie is responsible for the Blue Man’s death. While he was a child Eddie was playing with a ball and chased it into the street to which the Blue Man was driving. The Blue Man had to swerve not to hit Eddie, this caused the Blue Man to have anxiety and pass out at the wheel and crash. While he didn’t mean to, Eddie was responsible for the Blue Man’s death. While the Blue Man swerved to save Eddie’s life his life was instead taken. Another example of the theme would be when a man named Nicky dropped his car key on the free fall ride. The key would become wedged between cables in the rides inner workings and would become the reason for the malfunction the day Eddie died. When the ride malfunctioned Eddie realized what was happening and saw a little girl right where the ride would fall. So Eddie took it upon himself to push the little girl out of the way just as the ride was falling down on them. This left......

Words: 1058 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Eulogy

...were very angry and could not control ourselves. Then he was suddenly attacked me, and I was hitting him back with the baseball bat but it did not hit him. My Pop finally kicked me out of the house, and told me not to come back. He would take my belonging next to the fence. I leave the house and I joined in the Marines later on. The day I came back was the day of my Pop’s funeral. At first, I still not happy with his decision for not letting me play in the college football team, so I did not want to go to the funeral. Then my mom told me something that make me feel regret. She said: “I do know he meant to do more good than harm.” Also, she teaches me that not attending at my father’s funeral does not make me a man. When I singing the Blue song with Raynell which my grandpa taught my father originally, I realized that my father wanted to give his child a better life than his life. I felt sorry for what I did to him and did not understand him well that let to this happen. If I could turn back the time, I would fix my problem. I hope that my father could rest in peace. Thank you for attending at my father’s funeral. I’m appreciated....

Words: 418 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Woman in Black Extract Essay

...Analyse Hill’s use of language, form and structure in an extract from ‘The Funeral of Mrs Drablow,’ in her novel; ‘The Woman in Black.’ Show how the narrative development, characterisation and setting are enhanced by her style. Susan Hill’s literary style accords to a pastiche of Victorian Gothic horror. Hill effectively evokes the voice of Victorian era writers using recognisable devices such as; densely detailed text, a sympathetic narrative voice and language that is as lavish as any Victorian tale. The extract I am analysing is taken from the chapter; ‘The Funeral of Mrs Drablow’, and is impediment to the novella, as here, we are first introduced to the character Jeanette Humfrye in an alarming manner by her shocking facade: ‘‘she was suffering from some terrible wasting disease’’ which would unease any reader. Hill uses onomatopoeia and sibilance to introduce her character to us; “Some slight rustle” which draws our attention away from the funeral and onto ‘the young woman with the wasted face’. The phrase ‘slight rustle’ is also used on the following page and concluding tragedy in the final chapter ‘The Woman in Black’, showing an association with the sibilant expression and Jeanette’s presence. Hill uses sibilance in relation to the Woman in Black, because the alveolar pronunciation of the ‘s’ produces a ‘hissing’ sound, which often correlates to cynicism in Gothic Horror. This is a warning sign to the reader and relates us back to Kipps’ prior ominous references......

Words: 1617 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Art Review

...to their culture. In this exhibit contained many masks. Two of the mask that was most interesting to me was a mask called the “Elephant Society Mask” and “Bwoom Helmet Mask.” The Elephant Mask was made by canvas embroidered with beads. It was from the Bamileke kingdom. Men that were members of this kingdom called Kuosi wore these masks to major festivals and royal funerals, the mask represent the royal elephant. The Bwoom Mask is from Kuba kingdom and is made from wood, beads, shells, fur, seeds, cloth, hide and copper. The mask was part of ensemble group who performed at royal initiations or funerals. Bwoom means dwarf. The masks are very different in size; the Elephant Mask is tall and lean. It is very detailed with beads that consist of blues, reds and whites. It has big ears to resemble and Elephant. The Bwoom mask is very big and shorter. It is made to be shaped as a helmet. It is very detailed with different materials and textiles. It has a big forehead and nose. The masks look very different when you look at them side by side but both serve the same purpose in their individual kingdoms. They both use blue, white and red beads to make their mask lively. They are both very meticulously made. Even though these masks are used in ceremonial purposes, I feel the scrolls that I saw later in the exhibits are more meaningful. The scroll is considered a healing scroll. The particular one I saw was from an Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The scroll is made of parchment decorated......

Words: 532 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Macbeth

...the rain was beating against the window you could hear thunder rumbling in the distance. It was the afternoon but with the clouds covering the sun it looked as if it was nighttime inside the castle. You could hear raindrops hitting the buckets from the small openings in the ceiling. With each drop bringing us closer to the room of the Macbeths. In the room you can see Macbeth sitting down on the bed. He was wearing a distinguished black robe with black attire under it for the funeral of Banquo. As Macbeth was rubbing his fingers through his hair he began to talk to himself. "I can't believe he's gone," he said. "my best friend was killed and it’s all my fault!" Meanwhile, Lady Macbeth was waiting on her dress to be tailored across town and was held up because of the bad weather. "Could you work a little faster peasant?" Lady Macbeth said. "I'm going as fast as I can your heiress." said the tailor. Now going back to Macbeth who's been walking all through the castle battling his thoughts. Out of the blue he feels a cold breeze smother his body while the room shakes. As he tumbles over he sees Banquo standing right in front of him. Macbeth sits on the floor in shock as he sees his best friend for the first time since his death. "How can this be?" Macbeth said. "you're supposed to be dead!" Banquo begins to laugh profusely. "Clearly I am dead fool," said Banquo. "you made sure of that." "I am sorry Banquo I’ve been feeling awful ever since." said Macbeth. "Feeling awful isn't......

Words: 720 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Ryan Funeral Home Case Study

...RYAN FUNERAL HOME CASE INTRODUCTION On a warm Chicago evening in August 2005, Regina Ryan leaned back in an overstuffed armchair in her brightly lit apartment above Ryan Funeral Home. Seventy-five years old and a widow, Regina smiled as she looked at the sons and daughters gathered before her: Maureen, Patrick, Sean, Brendan, Conner, and Siobhan. Finally she spoke: “Your father was proud to own his own funeral home. He built this from nothing to what it is today. By serving local families so well, the name Ryan Funeral Home has come to mean compassion, integrity, and quality to those in this area. Reputation is everything in the funeral business. “He’s gone now, and I must decide what’s to become of all this. I always thought it would be a simple decision: pass the business to the next generation.” “It’s not so simple. The funeral industry has changed dramatically from what it was when we started out. It’s much harder to make a living than it once was. Nonetheless, I know that the reason your father started this business was because he wanted something to pass on to his children. This was to be his legacy.” As her mother spoke, Maureen thought about how important the future of Ryan Funeral Home was to her personally. She was the only one of the six children who had become a funeral director, and she has worked alongside her father for eleven years. Maureen often met with families to make funeral arrangements when her father was busy......

Words: 2442 - Pages: 10

Free Essay

Sonny Blues Response

...James Baldwin’s “Sonny Blues” is yet another literary masterpiece encompassing the adversity and perseverance of African Americans throughout history. Entranced by the metaphorical weight of the blues, I heard its heaviness intertwined with the throe of the characters as the deafening melody of Harlem’s woe rang from the pages. Baldwin depicts his underlying theme of oppression in the experiences of his characters. Early in the story, the narrator reflects on the day of his father’s funeral when his mother tells him of his uncle’s unjust demise. “Your father says he heard his brother scream when the car rolled over him, and he heard…them white men shouting…And, time your father got down the hill, his brother weren’t nothing but blood and pulp.” (Baldwin 56). Even the narrator himself recalls the tragic death of his two-year-old daughter, Gracie, and the desperation that led to him contacting his brother. Moreover, Sonny was lost in a sea of torment and addiction. “I can’t get anything straight in my head down here and I try not to think about what’s going to happen to me when I get outside again. Sometime I think I’m going to flip and never get outside and sometime I think I’ll come straight back. I tell you one thing, though, I’d rather blow my brains out then go through this again.” (Baldwin 51). Baldwin also illustrates the theme of oppression in his portrayal of Harlem. But houses exactly like houses of out past yet dominated the landscape, boys exactly like the......

Words: 413 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

What Dreams May Come

...Sarah Shulman What Dreams May Come The different colors worn and portrayed in What Dreams May Come all have specific meanings. Red, blue, violet, and black make up the different moods and personalities of each character. The patterns that each color portrays, makes each character their unique and own self. The color of Annie, one of the main characters is red. Throughout the film, Annie was changing. She was going through many intense situations, which made her change. When Annie is herself, acting who she really is, her happy self, she is wearing red. For example, the first scene in the film was Annie on a boat, looking happy and content. She was in white, but the sail was red. When she is lying with Chris in the field she is wearing red. The viewer can feel their love and that they are happy. But once Annie’s children died, she never wears red again. On the other hand, the color blue represents Annie’s husband, Chris. Chris was happy a lot of the time. The viewer can recognize his content vibes while he was with Annie or the children. When Chris and Annie were lying in the field together, while Annie was wearing red, Chris was wearing blue. They were happy, in love, and peaceful. The purposes of them wearing “their colors” were to back up the fact that this is who they truly are. The third color that is portrayed in the film is violet. This color represents people, situations and other things that are going through transitions. Take the tragic......

Words: 407 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Emily Dickinson: Originality, Economy of Expression, Unusual Imagery.

...all time. The reader gains great insight into her imagination through the medium of her poetry. She conveys moments of utter elation in poems such as “I taste a liquor never brewed to profound experiences of utter despair and depression in poems such as “I felt a funeral in My Brain”. What distinguishes her the most for me is her gift for figurative language, imagery, metaphors and similes. She had the ability to immerse herself in English literature and produce beautiful, ravishing and beauteous material through the medium of aesthetic language. Her archetypal flood subject was immortality and she often wrote about death. For me, the most thought provoking evocation of immortality and death, is her poem “I felt a Funeral in my Brain”. Dickinson’s poems on the Hereafter are probably among her best known. She was clearly deeply interested in the process of dying, and returned to it again and again in her writing. In this poem, the poet seems to have died sometime in the past and is now looking back or reliving the experience. “I felt a Funeral in my Brain and Mourners to and fro, Kept treading-treading - till it seemed that Sense was breaking through” The poem parallels and is inspired by an actual funeral service. This inspiration is evoked by the most striking aspect cohering with Dickenson’s original approach to poetry; style of writing. Economy of expression. There is a certain trend in each of her poems. That is of punctuation and grammar. Dickenson most often......

Words: 1275 - Pages: 6