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Poetry analysis of Auden's Funeral Blues.

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FUNERAL BLUES BY W.H. AUDEN ANALYSIS During Auden's lifetime, Auden witnessed both World Wars and the deaths of many important people. Auden found himself writing many elegies and capturing the impact these figures had on the public and their century. Here, in "Funeral Blues," Auden, through the voice of the speaker, seems to be writing an elegy for someone who meant a great deal to him personally. One can gather that speaker loved this person dearly. Auden is explaining that love does not always last. This poem incorporates a series of metaphors, personification, imagery and assonance to describe the writer's feeling about losing his loved one. "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" In the first stanza the speaker uses some of "clocks", "oceans" and "piano" to indicate the importance of his love. With the death of this person in the speaker's world, time has stopped To show the end of happiness and the start of mourning, the writer includes the silencing of the pianos and then low thudding drums used at funeral to describe the sadness that he feels now the relationship is over. ...read more.


The writer then expresses that all peace has now gone and is blemished and weighed down with death by referring to "Cr�pe bows around the white necks of the public doves". Auden continues to describe the insignificance of the rest of the world as he tries to avoid his life. There is an interesting imagery of light vs. dark. Often the dark imagery is used to suffocate the light. For example the white gloves on the policeman are replaced by the dark gloves. Anything relating to the past in this poem is considered as past whereas the present or the future is considers as dark. But then Auden seems to bring the loss back, emphasizing the loss of the speaker. The funeral messages get smaller, to the fine detail of the colour of the policemen's gloves. The black gloves are yet, another symbols of death. Auden ten turns the poem, explaining the persons worth and value. The third stanza states: "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" With nine uses of "my" in three lines, the speaker takes possession of his subject. ...read more.


The poem is hyperbolic, overdone and posturing. The poet's exaggerations appear in the form of the poem as well as in its content. The ten-syllable line, that occurs is "Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone" .But many of the other lines extend to eleven or even twelve syllables, such as in "Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves". These extra syllables may represent the excess of feeling which cannot be expressed within the sentences, the speaker's emotions spill out beyond ten syllables, requiring extra words to accommodate them. These longer lines may also symbolize how the speaker feels as his loss seems to go beyond his private life and into the public world. The poem uses the traditional pattern of rhythm i.e. AB, AB to further enhance its imagery. In conclusion "Funeral Blues" could be considered as a true love with its usage of modernist techniques. The poem presents many themes about life and its creation .The magic of Auden, however, is that he is able to invoke his reader's emotions and have them share and grieve for the loss of someone who is never even named. This is achieved with the usage of assonance, personification, metaphor, imagery, rhythm scheme and the poetic form. ...read more.

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