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Funeral Poetry

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old black and white photograph of the poet A.E. Housman

Funeral Poetry

Funeral Poetry & Prose Collection

This collection of funeral poetry & prose is from many and varied sources, we have tried as far as possible to attribute all the poems to the correct author;  this has on occasions been very difficult as many of the same poems are often attributed to various different authors. 
We have cited a poem as author Unknown unless we have been able to satisfactorily verify the original author, this is an ongoing process and we will update author details as and when we gain more information.

The reciting of funeral poetry as part of the funeral service (or End of Lifesingle stemmed red carnation Ceremony as they are now sometimes called) has always been a popular way of expressing a certain thought or sentiment, maybe one that was shared by the deceased, or perhaps the choice of funeral poetry might convey a helpful message of comfort to those gathered mourners and the family.
an old photograph of the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson
These days
as funerals get more personalised and the family and friends of the deceased become further involved with the ceremony, the reading of a simple poem in a sincere and honest way by someone other than the officiant is a valid and meaningful contribution to the proceedings and is appreciated as a significant part of the tribute to the deceased.

Whatever you think of the funeral poetry here (and it is all available for comment), just remember this, the metaphoric and symbolic, the deep and profound, the cheesy, the dull, the witty, the sharp and the occasionally nonsensical poems in this collection all have one thing very much in a black and white sketch of the head of the poet Elizabeth Browningcommon, that is, the author's have experienced, were experiencing or were soon to experience a bereavement. We all express our grief in different ways and who's to say that one persons experience and their subsequent expression of that experience is of more or less significance than another's.

Some people, clearly were never meant to be "poets" and it was a wood carving portrait of shakespeareperhaps their overwhelming sense of grief and loss that inspired them to put pen to paper to express their feelings in this particular way, some others are revered as the greatest poets ever and they are known the world over, these are the wordsmiths that send a tingle down your spine or make the hairs on the back of you neck stand up. Many popular and famous love poems are in this collection of funeral poetry.

Then there are the poets in the middle, the one's that come between these two poles, they are mostly known well enough, but they are not venerated, they are not household names, but they are generally recognisable, these are the ones that are so eloquently able to express in poetry that which we all feel, the poet christina rossetti pondering at a small deskand they can do it because they are just like us, they also have felt the undeniably powerful emotions of a bereavement. These are the poets that will bring a lump to our throat and a tear to our eye, they are sharing their personal experience with us, and it affects us deeply, because in many ways it is so very much like our own.

If you think that none of the funeral poetry here fits your particular circumstances then try selecting just two or three different poems that you like (even though they may not be suitable) and look at ways in which they might be altered and adjusted to fit in more with your needs, check to see if the poems might be interlinked in some way, can verses or lines be swapped around, think about what key words you might change or add in order to tease it around a bit more, most poetry, which also includes funeral poetry is very flexible and forgiving in this respect.
Also, remember that funeral poetry, or any poetry for that matter, doesn't always have to perfectly rhyme and it's not always necessary to read the whole poem, if you think that two or three verses satisfactorily convey the message then stop there, or just quote a few lines or one single verse.

painting of emily bronte in profileWhen you come across a poem or set of funeral poetry that you think might be suitable you can click on the pdf icon which will download that particular poem or set of funeral poetry to your desktop or anywhere else that you specify, download as many as you think you need in order to review and compare them. The pdf icon is disabled on pages with music and video as they are not compatible with pdf downloads, alternatively you can print the poem via the print icon or you can email yourself a link to the selected funeral poetry with the email icon, by far the best method after pdf download is to just simply copy and paste the poetry into a text editor.

Funeral Poetry Inspiration

If you need some more funeral poetry inspiration then explore the quotes and readings sections here, you may even find a reading that is more suitable for you, try experimenting a little, in our experience we have found most readings to be a lot easier to read publicly than most poems, also a lot of funeral poetry can be 'read' as a "reading" (prose), in particular, all funeral poetry by Rabindranath Tagore (just copy the name into the white search box above to see all his works), also, with minor alterations, many songs are suitable for reading as funeral poetry or prose, for example: With Hope by Steven Curtis Chapman or Time In A Bottle by Jim Croce, Beyond The Sunset (Should You Go First) which is a mix of hymn and song lyric is also very popular and easy to read.
Good luck, and when you feel ready to, do let us know how you got on, which may be of some help to other visitors who find themselves in a similar situation.
If you have a funeral poetry suggestion please let us know, we are always particularly interested in unusual and original funeral poetry.

If you think we may be able to help you in any other way, then just ask.

vertical bar of autumn leavesFuneral Poems

Please use the main poetry & prose menu
above to move between the categories of
funeral poems or click here to explore all
the poetry titles.
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