Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message ‘He is Dead’.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
Summary and Analysis
Meaning of the Poem
Funeral Blues is a poem by W. H. Auden. An early version was published in 1936, but the poem in its final, familiar form was first published in The Year’s Poetry (London, 1938). Death is the subject and main theme of the poem. Through the text Auden makes a compelling statement about the devastating effects that the death of a loved one has on those left behind. The speaker has just lost someone for whom he/she had a deep love. During the course of the poem, the speaker will plan a funeral procession, reveal details about their relationship, and consider the future.