What Are the Best Funeral Poems?


Quick Answer

Some of the best funeral poems are W.H. Auden's "Funeral Blues," Mary Elizabeth Frye's "Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep" and Christina Rossetti's "Remember." These three poems illustrate both the devastation of death and the promise of eternal life.

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Full Answer

W.H. Auden's "Funeral Blues" became popular in the 1990s thanks to the film, "Four Weddings and a Funeral." The poem in its best-known form was published in 1938, and is also known as "Stop all the clocks." It focuses on how the death of a loved one feels like the end of the world. Its most famous line is, "Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun."

Frye's "Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep" has a different focus, instead telling mourners not to weep over a loved one's grave since who they were in life is not the body in the coffin. Frye further describes the dead as part of the whole world, living on in every aspect of life and nature.

Christina Rossetti's "Remember" is more direct, asking the living to remember the dead unless it causes pain. The poem ends by stating that it's better for the bereaved to forget their dead loved ones and smile rather than remember them in sadness.

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