If you are called on to speak at a funeral, it may be difficult to find the right words to say. Adding a funeral poem to your speech is a good way to express your feelings without having to think of the words yourself.
Most of us are not professional writers, but we want what we say to be memorable. We also want it to be appropriate for the situation. Fortunately, there are professional writers who have said what it is that we want to say. Many poets have reflected on the issue of the loss of a beloved person. Many of them have said the things that we would way if we had the same way with words. Not everyone is gifted with words, but we can borrow the words of others to say the things that we would want.
A funeral poem is not only appropriate for a funeral speech, but can also be included in the funeral program, obituary, video tribute or other memorial. A few lines of verse are often the right touch for remembering those who we want to remember. The rhymes and meters of a poem are easy to remember and when people reflect back on the ceremony they often remember the beautiful poem that they heard or read.
It isn’t difficult to find an appropriate funeral poem for the occasion. Many classic poems that people know and love can be used for a funeral. The following are a few funeral poems that we recommend.
Funeral Poem 1
Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night, by Dylan Thomas:
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightening they
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Funeral Poem 2
Remember, by Christian Rossetti:
Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can go no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Funeral Poem 3
Afterglow, by Helen Lowrie Marshall:
I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun;
Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.
Funeral Poem 4
Do not stand at my grave and weep, by Mary Frye:
Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there, I did not die.
Funeral Poem 5
Turn Again To Life, by Mary Lee Hall:
If I should die and leave you here a while,
be not like others sore undone,
who keep long vigil by the silent dust.
For my sake turn again to life and smile,
nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do
something to comfort other hearts than thine.
Complete these dear unfinished tasks of mine
and I perchance may therein comfort you.
The funeral ceremony truly is all about the people who are gathered to remember someone special in their lives. The words that are said and given out in a funeral program all contribute to the environment of the memorial service. Words in verse, whether from a well-known classic poet, or a newly discovered gem, can provide an important part of the funeral. A poem can provide those words that express our feelings at that moment.
Updated: October 12, 2012