“Stop All the Clocks, Cut Off the Telephone” by W. H. Auden

Topics: Love, Stanza, Poetry Pages: 4 (1421 words) Published: September 29, 2009
“Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone” by W. H. Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Love is something that people can’t understand or explain it easily. People in love are often confused and blind. They love but they do not know why they love. Over the time, the essence of love still exists, so love is always an inspiration in poetry. Wysfan H. Auden’s “Stop All the Clocks, Cut Off the Telephone” is one of the literary poems that are inspired by love. Beyond its subject of love, however, the language, the voice, and the imagery in the poem also suggest that the speaker’s life becomes hopeless after the speaker’s love is gone forever.

To foreshadow something separate and fierce to the poem’s speaker, a series of contrasting words are used at the beginning. If life is symbolized in the clock and communication is symbolized in the telephone, the speaker refuses both of them without restraint. The fact that the speaker isolates himself/herself from everything implies the state of being shocked. The verbs, such as stop, cut off, and silence, that stick to inanimate things like the clock, the telephone and the piano accordingly (1-3) portray the shots in which the speaker seems not to suffer any longer. What the speaker must suffer is also...
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