Critical Appreciation of Auden's Funeral Blues

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Although it is not seen at first, Funeral blues can be portrayed and understood in many different ways. Auden could be writing about the death of a public figure, as he writes about 'white necks of the public doves' and the 'traffic policemen'. Another interpretation is that Auden wrote this poem about his loss of faith in God. This would explain the use of a capital H is ?He Is Dead?. A reference to God could also be found in the line 'my Sunday rest' (Sunday being the Sabbath day). Although these ideas could be equally argued, I still believe that Auden wrote this poem while mourning the loss of his lover. It carries a sad and heartbreaking tone that puts Auden as the speaker. Being a homosexual would explain why the subject of his poem is a man. The title of the poem includes the word ?funeral?, immediately indicating death or loss. In the first stanza Auden makes use of works like stop, cut, prevent and silence ? these words all signify ending. ?Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephones?, this describes how Auden wanted to be excluded from the world while he was mourning his loss. ?Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead / Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead?. Auden uses personification in these first two lines of the second stanza by giving the aeroplanes human characteristics to inform everyone that ?He Is Dead?. This man meant so much to Auden that he wanted his death to be recognized and written in the sky for all to see. In the third stanza, Auden writes: 'He was my North, my South, my East and West'. This man was everything to Auden, he was Auden's world. It is written in the third stanza: ?I thought love would last for ever: I was wrong?. This demonstrates that even though love is meant to last forever, it can only be carried to the grave and no farther.

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