Funeral poems have always been an important part of eulogies. This personal type of homage can be traced back to the ancient Romans and Greeks. The roots of funeral poetry are seen in some of the works from Popertius and Ovid who used an elegiac style with couplet lines to prepare a funeral poem. One of the most impressive funeral poem writers during the Roman era was Callimachus. Callimachus wrote a poem for his lover Lesbia and captured the strong emotions of love and helplessness to express his personal feelings.
English poets like Thomas Gray and Lord Tennyson continued with the elegiac style but with a more mournful tone. It was Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Courtyard” that inspired many other funeral poem writers to use the elegiac style. During the Romantic era, elegiac poetry began to evolve in a lyrical manner. Writers like Samuel Taylor Coleridge claimed the lyrical style was most reflective of the natural mind. Although the style of funeral poems has varied throughout history, its purpose remains the same. Funeral poems are an expression of loss, love and sorrow. They are a heartfelt final goodbye and tribute to a newly departed loved one.
Even though there are a variety of excellent published funeral poems that can be read during the eulogy, many people today choose to write their own funeral poems for a more personalized touch. Writing your own personal funeral poem is a way to express your own deep emotions while capturing special moments and anecdotes shared with a loved one. Unlike a published funeral poem, it is unique and a perfect fit for an individualized relationship. Funeral poem writing may seem like a daunting task but once you start writing, you’ll find the words will easily flow. If you’re wondering how to write a funeral poem, here’s a general guide to help you through the process.
How to Write a Funeral Poem
Funeral poem writing doesn’t have to have an elegiac style, rhyme or follow any political correctness. It only needs to come from your heart. Just stay in touch with your inner feelings, and you will be easily inspired.
Funeral Poem Tip #1: Take the time to reflect and brainstorm for your funeral poem writing. Write down incomplete ideas that can be expanded upon later. For example, you may want to write down happy times and keep a pen and paper handy as you recall special times shared and elaborate later as your thoughts develop. All of your incomplete ideas can later be used as a point of reference.
Funeral Poem Tip #2: Write down popular sayings or expressions that your loved one used. Doing this incorporates the personality of the individual into the poem and will be greatly appreciated by those who knew your loved the best.
Funeral Poem Tip #3: Make sure to highlight your loved one’s accomplishments. Everyone’s impact on the earth is different, so make sure to incorporate words that reflect your loved one’s legend. Keep in mind that these accomplishments don’t have to be elaborated on but merely hinted through the scheme.
Funeral Poem Tip #4: For a heartfelt poem, reflect on the pain of your loved one’s passing and what it means to you as well as others who knew your loved one well. You can also collaborate with other family members and friends for words to incorporate into the stanzas of your funeral poem.
Funeral Poem Tip #5: Don’t focus on writing a rhyming scheme. Instead, focus on fully expressing each idea to satisfy your intent. If you prefer a rhyming scheme, you can always change words when the final product is complete.
Funeral Poem Tip #6: To make sure your funeral poem encompasses your feelings, make sure to compile all of your ideas into the final poem. You can proofread to make sure that nothing has been left out for this special memorial for your cherished one. It’s also a good idea to read your poem to a small, trusted circle of friends to ensure the finished product reflects the individual and will comfort the audience.
Funeral poem writing provides us with memories that live on through the eloquence of the written word. It is a chance to honor a loved one using your own words and expressions of what that person meant to you.
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