October 7, 2011
Grief and Pain in W.H. Auden’s Poem, “Funeral Blues”
Grief is an emotion of sorrow and confusion when losing someone important. The griefwhen losing a loved one is such that it takes the joy out of lives. People tend to feel empty, lonely and, in some cases, angry for not having their loved one with them anymore. Everyone can experiencegrief in his or her own ways. In W.H. Auden’s poem “Funeral Blues,” the speaker shows how insignificant life can be without his beloved and how it can take the joy out of life.
Most people, when ingrief, believe that life no longer has meaning without their loved one beside them. The speaker can be identified in this line of belief. The grief that the speaker feels for losing a loved one issuch that he feels his own life pausing as he grieves, meaning there is no point in continuing life without his beloved. The speaker’s love is all consuming, he cannot think about going on without hislover for it is too much torture. He affirms this when he says, “Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone./ Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone” (1-2). Also, the speaker feels his loss issomething he cannot bear alone and everyone should mourn with him: “[…] put crepe bows around the white necks of the public doves,/ Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves” (7-8).Furthermore, the speaker infers nothing could make him happy now that he’s without the one who meant everything to him. The writer expresses how every aspect of himself was associated with his partner:
Hewas my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week, and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
In the last stanza he states that all hope and all beauty, represented by thestars and the moon, have vanished now that his “moon”, his “midnight”, no longer is by his side. Every joy he saw in life has elapsed and he feels it will never come again. The speaker convincingly...