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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…...

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