How Effectively Does the Poet Convey Aspects of Change in ‘Funeral Blues’?

Topics: Style, Poetry, W. H. Auden Pages: 2 (619 words) Published: March 7, 2013
How effectively does the poet convey aspects of change in ‘Funeral Blues’?

‘Funeral Blues’ by W. H. Auden is a poem is about death and grief. It was originally written as a satirical poem about the death of a politician, though was later edited to become solemn. The poet effectively conveys aspects of change, such as the human condition in relation to the experience of loss. This is conveyed through tone, metaphors, imagery and anaphora. The aspect of the human condition and our response to loss is expressed through the tone of the poem. The tone is an example of how of how a person would react and treat the world around when they lose someone. An imperative tone is created through the diction of verbs. In the first stanza, the narrator uses verbs such as ‘stop’, ‘cut’, ‘prevent’ and ‘silence’ which are commands. This tone shows the narrator is trying to control things around them as a sense of reassurance and security as they feel helpless after the death they have experienced. They had no control over when or how the person died, and would feel as though they have lost control over their own life. A mood of reverence suitable for death is created through the use of metaphors and aural imagery. In the first stanza the narrators orders for the ‘clocks’ and ‘telephone’ to be stopped. The clock is a metaphor for time whilst the telephone is a metaphor for communication. However, these metaphors are hyperbolic as it is impossible to stop time or communication. The hyperbole emphasises the importance that the deceased person and their memory is given complete attention during mourning so to not be disrespectful. The aural imagery in the first stanza is when the narrator commands the people to ‘silence the pianos and with a muffled drum’. The piano is silenced and the drum muffled as reverence is expressed through quietness at a funeral. The visual imagery and anaphora conveys the negative and desolate feeling when loss is experienced. The anaphora of ‘my’ in...
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