In W. H. Auden's poem, "Funeral Blues," the speaker uses well-constructed poetic language and form to convey her attitude toward the subject of death. It explains how Auden manifests an extremely bitter interpretation of hopelessness and eternal sadness on the part of the speaker as a result of losing a loved one. The speaker in the poem is deeply saddened about the loss of her loved one and the fact that it was a force beyond her control. This person has been taken from her life in haste at a most inopportune time, and she feels as though her life has become pointless. It shows how, through Auden's use of tone, language, and structure, he portrays a very well-defined image of death and its effects on the individual, which is by no means desirable.
From the Paper:
In "Funeral Blues" Auden makes the bitter attitude of the speaker toward the subject of death apparent to the readers through the use of symbols, imagery, personification, and the metaphor. In the first stanza Auden states, "stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone..."(Auden 1362. 1). The clock being stopped may signify the fact that he who died has run out of time and also to ask those who knew him to stop what they are doing and reflect. The telephone being cut off brings forth the idea of silence. Auden does this to show the deceased the respect they deserve. She believes in honoring the dead with a moment of silence to pay respect. In the second stanza the speaker states, "let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead."(Auden 1362. 5). She uses this metaphoric image to convey the pointlessness of her life and also her grief. What point is there for aeroplanes to fly in circles? She is comparing the pointlessness of flying in circles to her life without her partner.