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Analysis of 'Stop All The Clocks' by W. H. Auden

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Daniel Lawson 9BXAPP 4 ? Poetry AnalysisTuesday 17th April 2012 ?Stop all the clocks?, also known as ?Funeral Blues?, is a poem by the Anglo-American poet, Wystan Hugh Auden, more commonly known as W.H. Auden. Although the poem may seem as though it was written as a result of a personal loss of the poet, he actually originally wrote it for a play he co-wrote with Christopher Isherwood, ?The Ascent of F6?. It was to be a satiric, parody for a politician?s eulogy, however is now more commonly known as a result of it being accurate to relate to people who truly grieve. The version of the poem used in the play was a 5-stanza version, although the current version is only 4 stanzas long. It is famous for being used in the film, ?Four Weddings and a Funeral?. Even though W.H. Auden did not write the poem as a result of a loss he had experienced himself, he did have a loved one who was a man, as he was homosexual, although he was also married to a woman during his lifetime. Loss is an extremely popular topic for stories, poems, movies and many other forms of entertainment. Sometimes, loss can be an extremely boring topic, especially due to its frequent usage, however W. H. Auden represents loss in an extremely passionate way through empathy in this poem. ...read more.


The ?moaning? could also be linked with the events occurring at the funeral service; the sadness and lamenting of the mourners. The aeroplanes mentioned on line 5, on the next line are, ?Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead?. The verb ?scribbling? may have been used intentionally to differ from normally writing it to ?scribbling? on the sky, possibly because the people are so distraught they cannot control themselves enough to write neatly. When written in the sky, it is available for everyone to see the distressing news. Capitalisation of the words ?He Is Dead? could be significant in indicating that the person was of similar authority to a deity. More symbolism for the elaborate funeral procession include ??crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves/Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves?. These are not generally apparent at a funeral; however in this instance, incorporating them into the funeral procession emphasises the poet?s requirement for public mourning. The traffic policemen would not normally be invited to the funeral, or even take any notice of the passing, but this reinforces how tragic his death is to the world. These couple of lines also illustrate the rhyme scheme used throughout the poem, which is AABB. This rhyme scheme creates a steady beat, a rhythm which sets the poem?s pace quite slow, appropriate for the depressing and melancholy mood that the poet wants the reader to experience. ...read more.


The final line of the poem really sums up the poet?s feelings in the stage of depression. ?For nothing now can ever come to any good.? The death of the man has caused such extreme devastation for the poet that he can no longer see any good in the world and has resorted to extreme pessimism. This emphasise the melancholy tone present throughout the entire poem, along with the finality of live and purpose, similar to the death of his lover. The main ratiocination of this poem of this poem is that it uses various techniques to establish a connection between pet and reader so the reader can easily empathise with the poet in his time of grieving. Not only does the reader feel the pain that the poet is going through from his vivid imagery, but he can respect him for the difficult period of life he is going through. In my opinion, loss affects everyone differently and everybody has experiences of loss, no matter how small of big the loss was, or how much devastation it caused. I think this poem is very successful in conveying how an extremely big loss can affect a person, especially informing people who haven?t experienced loss on such a large scale themselves. Particularly as W. H. Auden hadn?t actually lost anyone himself, he is evidently extremely intelligent for being capable of pulling off such a mammoth task. ...read more.

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