Funeral Blues

1 January 2017

Blues is the type of music that was used in the time of slavery. Slaves listened to this type of music to make them forget about their troubles and to give them hope. (Eng 111 tut, 2012). Blues has its deepest roots in the work songs of West African slaves in the South. During their back breaking work they developed a “call and response” way of singing to give rhythm to the drudgery of their servitude.

The poem ‘funeral blues’ is written in the first person, this makes it more personal because he tells us about the writers personal feelings about a loss of someone he loved dearly and it tells us about the way he feels about the person he lost and how he cannot go on without this person. The writer is upset and angry about his loss. He says “stop all the clocks”(line 1) something that can be done literally by removing the batteries but not figuratively by stopping time.

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This is a way in which the writer utters his distress.

He also goes on saying “cut of the telephone (line 1)” / “prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone (line 2)” / “silence the pianos (line 3)”. This is a way that the writer shows us that he does not want to be reminded of everyday life. At first I thought that the writers partner died but because the speaker way in which he expresses things in (line 4) “bring out the coffin, let the mourners come”, that is so disrespectful, something that someone would not say at a funeral, could it be that the he was dumped and feels hurt and angry at this person and this is just a way in which he expresses himself?

The writer thinks that everybody should be feeling the way he does, he believes that it is not a time for others to enjoy themselves this is why he wants his loss to made into a public spectacle, he says ‘let the aeroplanes circle moaning over head (line5)’, this is a way the speaker emphasizes his desperate need for public mourning. The sound of an aeroplane, it is not a moaning sound but because the partner meant so much to the writer, he feels that even things that have no emotion and feelings should also mourn with him. Scribbling on the sky He Is dead(line 6)” when reading this phrase I can see how much the person meant to the writer because of the use of capital letters in “He Is Dead(line 6)” the phrase also gives a sense of finality that the loss of the speakers partner is beginning to sink in. Also by “Scribbling on the sky He Is dead (line 6)” everybody in the entire world will see and realize what terrible event has occurred.

He says “ Put crepe bows round the white necks of public doves(line 7)” he is referring that all peace has gone and is blemished and weighed down with this loss. Traffic policemen who wears white gloves ,he ask them to wear black gloves ,even though these people are not associated with mourning all that he thinks about is everybody from far and wide should share in his emotion. Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves (line 8)” With all the impossible commands that the poet request in the poem, ‘Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead (line5)’ / ‘scribbling on the sky the message he is dead (line6)‘/ ’put crepe bows round the white necks of public doves (line 7)’ / ‘let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves(line8)’ , this shows me that the poet thinks that his loss is worthy of such self mockery.

The writer describes the closeness of his partner and their relationship by claiming that he was his everything “he was my North, my South, my East and West (line9)’. He has only just realised that his loss is the end to their relationship. Also by him saying that he was my everything ‘my north, south, east and west (line 9)’, he expresses how life cannot go on without his beloved and how everything in his life is a reminder of pain because of the loss.

The writer has given so much of himself to the relationship he goes on saying,”my working week and my Sunday rest (line10)”, the writer expresses how everything aspect of his life was associated with this person, “my noon my midnight my talk my song (line 11), also meaning that the partner was everything to him, his partner was his world. By saying “I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong (line12)” it confirms that the partner did not die, the writer was rejected by the partner.

He was also naive to believe that love would last forever because in a relationship two people can love each other but if the one person gives 90 percent and the other 10 percent that relationship is bound to fail. The last stanza the writer emphasizes on the useless and worthless life he is going to have without his ex-lover . he continues with his impossible commands and says things like, “the stars are not wanted now: put out everyone; (line 13)” / “pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;(line 14) /”pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;(line 15) / “for nothing now can ever come to any good. line 16)” , simply because life and everything in it is meaningless now that his lover is gone.

To conclude the poem is an insight to expect these things. It is proven that everyone has a need to be loved (Maslow hierarchy needs), being rejected by someone you love is without a doubt a horrible feeling, but it is important that one deal with it. In the poem the writer expressed lots of anger and sadness.

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Funeral Blues. (2017, Jan 09). Retrieved October 18, 2019, from
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