Funeral Blues

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Teiairra Johnson
Professor Drummond-Matthews
English Comp. II
February 1, 2012

Funeral Blues Explication

In W.H. Auden's “Funeral Blues”,he uses a sort of calm or sorrowful tone. The woman in this poem says, “Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,”(1) She is wanting to give respect to the dead. She says to get rid of the noises that may be distracting from the process of mourning. Auden creates a mood or sense of respectfulness.

The first stanza is stating to get rid of the regular things that a funeral is about and get on with it .”Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone(2)”. The dog barking would be an unwanted sound, the speaker is saying to give the dog. Usually, a juicy bone as the speaker mentioned, is a way to get a dog to be quiet. She does not want anything getting in the way of mourning. She says to “Silence the piano and with muffled drum”(3), she meant that not even a piano would be satisfying. The happy sound of a piano would be too much. It would be an “unwanted noise”. The speaker uses the word “muffled”(3), when she speaks about the drum. She did not say loud drum. “ Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come(4).” The mourners would do what they always do, when the coffin or casket is brought out. They would mourn the tragic death of a loved one or friend.

The word choice used by Auden, in the second stanza is very revealing “Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead. Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead(5,6)”. He chose the word “moaning” to explain how the aeroplanes sound in the sky. She said to let the aeroplanes scribble on the sky. Auden utilizes imagery in this stanza to give a mental picture of how the planes look and sound in the sky, also what they are writing in the sky”. Auden uses “He is Dead”, to express how much the deceased meant. Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public doves(7).” Crêpe bows are used in weddings, funerals, or any special event. In the matter of the poem,...
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