What type of poem is Auden's "Funeral Blues"?  What are the indicators of the poem (is it lyrical or narrative)?  What sound or musical devices does the poem use?  

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drmonica's profile pic

drmonica | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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"Funeral Blues" is an elegy, a poem written about someone who has died. The rhyme scheme is aabbccddeeffgghh, with each stanza containing two rhymed couplets.

The speaker is calling on the world to come to a stop and mourn the death of his/her lover. In the final stanza, the speaker calls on God or nature to put away the stars, the oceans, the woods, much as a housekeeper would put away unneeded items during a spring cleaning.

The poem verges on hyperbole, implying that the entire world would stop for the death of a single person (although that is certainly the way it feels to a mourner). This poem was originally written as a parody of an elegy to a fallen political leader.

favoritethings's profile pic

favoritethings | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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The poem is an elegy, as explained by the other commenter, and it is also an example of a lyric poem; lyrical poetry focuses on the emotions and has a rhyme scheme, and "Funeral Blues" clearly focuses on the speaker's emotions over the loss of a loved one and does possess an end-rhyme scheme. 

The use of the word "moaning" in line 5 is an example of onomatopoeia.  The sound of the word moan imitates the sound it describes: the droning of the planes flying overhead.  It also personifies them (as "moaning" is the sound a human makes when he is sad or mournful, as they narrator is).  The repetition of the short "o" (as it cot or lot) sound in the first phrase, "Stop all the clocks," is an example of assonance.  The repetition of the word "my" in the third stanza emphasizes just how much the speaker feels he has lost when his loved one passed away.  The repetition of the initial "p" sound in the final stanza -- in the words "put," "Pack," and "Pour" -- is an example of alliteration

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