• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Stop All the Clocks - How are Auden's feelings communicated through imagery in this poem?

Extracts from this document...


Stop All the Clocks How are Auden?s feelings communicated through imagery in this 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. 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 This poem uses powerful imagery to communicate feelings of grief and despair after the death of a loved one. ...read more.


He portrays how we feel when we want to keep away from people and even ?cut off the telephone? and retreat into isolation. Of course, the first line is made even more powerful because it is not possible to stop all the clocks. The grief portrayed becomes even more inconsolable, because it would take impossible things to make him feel better. Stopping time itself would maybe bring the person back, too, but it mostly shows that the poet does not want to go on living himself. All signs of life should be removed, such as the happy dog barking with his bone and the sound of a piano. The poet will only accept the gloomy sound of a ?muffled drum? before the coffin and the mourners come. Until Auden writes ?Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come? he has been saying what not to do. Only when the world is silent and all mourning the same loss, can the coffin be brought out and people come to grieve. ...read more.


But what is really touching is the line ?My working week and my Sunday rest? because it shows the person was everything to him: he was there in good times and in bad, in normal times and celebrations. He was there in ?my talk? which is more mundane and ?my song? which is special. This makes it sound like a marriage, ?for better and for worse?. He ?thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.? In the last verse the real despair and pessimism comes in. Again, Auden commands us to do impossible things. He does not want the stars now, so tells us to ?put out every one?. His imagery of packing up the moon and dismantling the sun, bringing about the end of the world to mirror his grief, is hugely dramatic and effective. He is deeply pessimistic: there is no hope left at all: ?Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood; For nothing now can ever come to any good.? He has no reason to live without his loved one. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Other Poets section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Other Poets essays

  1. A poem in which the narrators feelings are uncovered is Visiting Hour by Norman ...

    It presents the reader with the notion that she is alone in the world; in a coma incapable of communicating with anyone. In stanza 5, the narrator notices the tubes connected to her: "Into an arm wasted of colour a glass fang is fixed, not guzzling but giving".

  2. To what extent do you think that Yeats thought he was living in a ...

    However, most of the Supernatural imagery used in The Second Coming makes the world seem worse, not better. However, in contrast to the beauty and Romance of that stream, The water in The Tower, 'which is described as 'the blood-dimmed tide' is not Romantic in the slightest as we can immediately see.

  1. Thomas Kinsella - A personal response Thomas Kinsella is a poet that is ...

    The second way is more metaphorical. If you look carefully, the poem indicates that as the boy gains knowledge, he also simultaneously loses his innocence and happiness (to a degree). The first half of the poem are bright and happy as he plays with marla and enjoys classes outside.

  2. Night Over Birkenau Powerful Impression

    This light which would bring hope and freedom along with a new start will never come. The darkness he sees is too strong to be vanquished with a dawn now. The poet then continues on to say that his "eyes are poisoned from sleep".

  1. Mark O'Connor, a famous Australian poet is well known for his strong use of ...

    "..quick as a kite..", ?... riding the weird and unguessable surf of the air, blown round the compass? ?wind on the waves of a twilit bay?, ?...row back hard plying with swift strokes their strong feathered oars, beating into curd the thick vortices of air?.

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

    The reference to a clock could also bring about the connotations of time, in this case relating to the brevity of human life, and death as a result, which has caused the poet such unalleviable agony. Moreover, the first line could also give the reader the impression that the poet

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work