A short analysis of the poem "Funeral Blues" by W.H. Auden.
This commentary will explore the poem “Funeral Blues” by W.H. Auden. It discusses Auden’s sorrow experience of going through the mourning after the death of his lover. Through various techniques used by Auden, including imagery, language, tone, atmosphere, formats and structure, one could see that Auden is having some kind of difficulty, going through the death of his lover. “Funeral Blues” mainly concentrate on the fact that Auden’s lover has died, and every singly aspect of his life is worthless. He wants nothing, but silence, and time to recover from the shock he have experienced from the death of his lover. “Funeral Blues” uses free verse, or no particular rhyme scheme, presumably demonstrating the lack of structure at Auden’s time of life at the current moment he wrote “Funeral Blues”, after the death of his lover.
In the first Stanza, Auden have used objects relating to domesticity, and everyday life, where he does not want everything to return to normal, as his lover is dead. This stanza mainly focuses on the theme “isolation”, and disconnection from the outside world, as he wants to only mourn for his lover and do nothing else. From the quote “Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone”, one could see that Auden does not want the structure of his life to return to normal, and he wants to cut off all connections to the outside world, and mourn for his lover. Auden uses a fair amount of imperatives in this stanza, for example “Stop” and “Cut”, which shows that he demands for silence, and respect for his lover.
In the second stanza, changes the focus of the reader from isolation to requesting the community to pay respect for the death of his lover. Auden have used the phrase “He is Dead”, using a capital D for Dead, which presumably is a reference to god, portraying his lover highly, as a god-like figure. The quote “Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead” also suggests that Auden is referring to the cycle of life, and he and his lover will be together again, in their after-life. The last two lines are also focused on the fact that they should mourn for Auden’s lover too.
The third stanza is where Auden explains the importance of his lover to him, as if giving a memorial service, to the death of his lover. The quote “He was my North, my South, my East and West” shows that
Auden’s lover is his guiding star, and without him, he is lost. The line “My noon, my midnight”, also implies to the reader that Auden feels time is flying to rapidly, when his lover was alive, and time when he is alone, time appears to have stopped, and is extremely difficult for time to pass. The last line of the stanza “I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong” is typically irony, if love was would not last forever; he would not be caring for his lover, even when he’s dead, and be this shattered.
The last stanza mainly focuses on Auden’s pessimistic view on life using an extremely dark tone to portray it, and describes everything in the world, including life is worthless. From the first three lines of the stanza “The stars are not wanted now…”shows that he feel every single aspect of life is worthless, and he believes that every happy thing in the world is also worthless. The last line of the poem “For nothing can ever come to any good” is the ultimate and final feeling of Auden at the time, as he feels that nothing can be good in life without his lover.
In conclusion, through various techniques displayed by Auden, including imagery, language, tone, atmosphere, formats and structure, Auden have expressed his feelings for his lover, and the sadness he’s going through of losing his lover.
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