Funeral Blues

The poem begins with the line “Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone.” This introduction makes it clear that the narrator is depressed and a tragic event has taken place. The first half of the sentence portrays her wish for time to stand still and her unwillingness to carry on with her life. She feels that her situation will not improve in the future and she has nothing to live for or look forward to. The second half of the sentence: “cut off the telephone” shows that she is unwilling to communicate. She is inconsolable and perhaps there are many people around her trying to comfort her but they are unsuccessful. It could also show that she wants to isolate herself from the outside world and ignore the situation she is in as she cannot deal with it.

The first stanza shows a wish for silence, as she wants all the objects around her that make noise to stop. This shows that the noise is stopping her from being able think properly, which is a metaphor for how the events in her life are stopping her from moving on or thinking in a rational way. The way all these noisy objects are mentioned together signifies how too many problems are distressing her at once. The last line of the stanza shows us the reason for her distress; someone close to her has died. She wants everyone to be quiet as a mark of respect for the person she has lost. She also says that there are mourners that have come to pay their respects. This shows that the person who has died has left behind many people who miss him; perhaps he was a father or an important member of the community.

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In the second stanza she then says “Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead, scribbling in the sky the message He Is Dead.” This conveys how difficult it is for her to escape from her loss. The use of the word “moaning” symbolises the pain caused by his death because now she is crying because he is gone. Also, the image of a plane writing the message in the sky is a metaphor for how she is surrounded by the grief that has been caused, and there is nowhere that she can hide to escape from it. Also, seeing this message ...

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