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    Comparison of the Poems “Being-in-love” by Roger McGough and “Funeral Blues” by W H Auden Essay

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    The poems “Being-in-love” and “Funeral Blues” are poems written about the same topic, love, But at different stages of love. An inexperienced poet who struggles to follow the conventions of a classic poetry writes “Being-in-love”. While the other, “Funeral Blues” is written by an experienced, more mature poet who knows that poems do not have to have a rhyming pattern and the poet makes the poem seem as though it took hardly any effort to write because it is an effortless poem. The poem “Being-in-love” by Roger McGough is written about how it feels to be in love, for the first time.

    A young male writes the poem. One we can tell this by the way he describes who he is in love with ” you are so very beautiful”, an opening clichi??. The love the narrator feels is ‘unrequited’ love, and the poem conveys how he feels about this from the wistful statement “wish you were as well”, we get an image of a sigh from the narrator, particularly as there is no final full stop, which leaves the reader in suspense. The second poem, “Funeral Blues” by W. H. Auden, is also about love. The love the narrator writes about is mature love; love that is deep but for someone who has recently died.

    We can see from this poem that the narrator is deeply upset about his loss, he expresses his loss in images, for example “stop all the clocks”, where the narrator call for a reverent silence, as if time now stands still without the lover to give meaning to the day. The poems are similar in the way that they are both about love, and the speakers are both alone. They are experiencing unattainable love. The first poem is written about a first love and how the poet has been cast off because although he is in love, the girl doesn’t love him back, “Wish you were as well”.

    The second poem is written about a loss of a loved one. This love is clearly not a first love, but a love, which is based on years of a steady relationship. The poems also use different vocabulary, the first uses colloquial “you are so very”, the second poem uses emotive vocabulary too express the subject’s melancholy ” the stars are not wanted now: put out every one”. Although “Being-in-love” is written as though a young boy was writing it, it is structured. The poem also seems like a poem, because it has a steady beat and a regular form.

    Roger McGough is restating old clichi?’s, about the beauty of his loved one, but expressing them in a new modern way. The poet avoids stating “I love you” instead he writes about how much he admires his love and he describes some of the things he “cannot help admiring”. Roger McGough also keeps to the schoolboy writing the poem, by making the poem have words, which have been invented by the boy, “sadnessful”. The reason for this is because the speaker is struggling to find rhymes and so he is forced to invent new words.

    It also shows that the speaker was striving to make a poem, and he thought that all poems needed to have a rhyming pattern in them. From the lack of punctuation, it seems as though the speaker has no real education, but by trying to make his poem rhyme, we can see that the poet has tried to emulate a love poem that he has read. We the reader, feel sorry for the speaker because he has no real concept of poems or how they are supposed to be written and we feel touched at how much effort the speaker has put into his poem and in trying to make it rhyme. Funeral Blues” is also structured, but in a different way.

    The poem starts inside a room and the subject wanting to “stop all the clocks” so as to stop the ticking and make the clock silent as everything else in the room was. He then spreads out and starts talking about aeroplanes “scribbling in the sky” which gives an image of outside. The poet finishes by going on to describe his feelings with things in the universe, “pack up the moon and dismantle the sun”. The poem moves from inside to outside with the poet becoming more open abut his recent loss.

    He starts out with wanting to silence everything from dogs to telephones, and we get an image of someone sitting alone in a quietened house. As the poem goes on he wants everyone to know about his lovers death by “scribbling” it in the sky. There is only one stanza that does not follow the pattern of expanding. This is the third stanza and is like an outbreak of grief from the speaker. He is no longer able to contain his grief, which he has held in the first two stanzas. This is a more personal paragraph with the subject talking about what his lover meant to him, “He was my north, my south”.

    The poems use imagery differently. “Being-in-love” uses more physical images; he uses descriptions of eyes and lips “your lips are so kissinspiring”. “Funeral Blues” uses more hyperbolic metaphors, “My working week and my Sunday rest” and hyper clichi?? ‘s “I thought that love would last for ever”. The difference in the uses of these images and metaphors in “Funeral Blues” are that the poem has a more sad and depressed feel to it, even though the poem is about love. When in “Being-in-love”, the speaker is sad because his love is not returned, but he still conveys a contented feeling, in the way that he is able to From reading both poems, I don’t like “Being-in-love” because I personally didn’t find the poem funny.

    The poem I think is supposed to be funny with the way the speaker has tried to make his poem rhyme. But I think you have to read the poem out load to be able to catch the rhyming part at the end, and you also have to have the accent that the poet has to make the end part of the poem rhyme. The poem also has only one argument and although initially the poem is amusing it doesn’t have the sentimental feel that sticks in the mind like “Funeral Blues”.

    I personally prefer “Funeral Blues”. I feel it is because it is a more detailed poem and it is not how a “normal” love poem would have been written. The poem avoids sexuality and it is just purely about how much someone cared about his love. The poem is very emotional, it goes beyond physical presence, and the subject really does miss his love. I also like the way that “Funeral Blues” has the feeling of a “Blues song”, because the poem and a “blues song” have the feeling of deep sadness and they both stand as a kind of funeral oration.

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    Comparison of the Poems “Being-in-love” by Roger McGough and “Funeral Blues” by W H Auden Essay. (2017, Oct 24). Retrieved from

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