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  • 6 Funeral Poems to Honor Loved Ones

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    Poetry is often able to put our emotions into words when we cannot. If planning to read a funeral poem as part of a eulogy or memorial service, the right poem can provide comfort during a difficult time. Since finding the perfect funeral poem can be intimidating, here are 6 beautiful poems that capture the subtleties of life, grief and loss.  

    Table of Contents

    1. A Meeting By Edith Wharton
    2. The Road Not Taken By Robert Frost
    3. For Keeps By Joy Harjo
    4. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep By Mary Elizabeth Frye
    5. Dear Lovely Death By Langston Hughes
    6. Untitled [this Is What Was Bequeathed Us] By Gregory Orr
    7. How Do I Choose A Funeral Poem?

    A Meeting by Edith Wharton

    Written by Edith Wharton, A Meeting describes stopping on a bridge and basking in a small moment with a loved one until you must pass by. The final line–“My life shall be your bridge”–makes this a special funeral poem because it reminds us all of how we carry the memories of loved ones with us and the importance of pausing our daily lives to simply remember. 

    An excerpt:

    “One moment let us drink the blue

    Transcendent air together–

    Then down where the same old work’s to do

    In the same dull daily weather.”

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    The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

    Perhaps Frost’s most well-known poem, The Road Not Taken speaks of forging one’s own path through life. While it may not be an obvious funeral poem, The Road Not Taken is perfect for a celebration of life, as it encapsulates one’s independence and joy in taking the road less traveled by. 

    An excerpt:

    “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

    I took the one less traveled by,

    And that has made all the difference.”

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    For Keeps by Joy Harjo

    Written by Joy Harjo, For Keeps depicts returning to the welcoming, open arms of one’s ancestors. During a time of grief, this can be a unique funeral poem as it seeks to find solace and joy in the connections we have formed in life and those from the past that have brought us to the present.

     An excerpt:

    “We know ourselves to be part of mystery.

    It is unspeakable.

    It is everlasting.

    It is for keeps.”

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    Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep by Mary Elizabeth Frye

    A popular funeral poem, Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep reminds us that those we have lost continue to live on in both our memories and the world around us. Mary Elizabeth Frye writes that we can find our loved loves through nature, that no one is ever really gone. 

    An excerpt:

    “I am in the birds that sing,

    I am in each lovely thing.

    Do not stand at my grave and cry,

    I am not there. I do not die.”

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    Dear Lovely Death by Langston Hughes

    Langston Hughes suggests that death is not final, that it is merely a conduit for change. Dear Lovely Death serves as a reminder that no one is truly gone but has taken on a different form. If read as a funeral poem, the final line, “Change is thy other name,” brings comfort by reshaping our understanding of death. 

    An excerpt:

    “Dear lovely Death

    That taketh all things under wing–

    Never to kill–

    Only to change”

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    Untitled [This is what was bequeathed us] by Gregory Orr

    Written by Gregory Orr, Untitled describes what has been left behind: the simple world in which we must live. If read as a funeral poem, its final line, “Sing me awake,” is a sort of call-to-action, a reminder to color the world with the memory of those who have passed, to bring them back through our hearts and voices. 

    An excerpt:

    “No purpose but what we make 

    That, and the beloved’s clear instructions:

    Turn me into song; sing me awake.”

    Read more 

    How Do I Choose a Funeral Poem?

    Titan Casket is dedicated to providing you with all the answers you need when it comes to planning a funeral and choosing a funeral poem. We can also help you purchase the right casket for your departed service member.

    We are your trusted ally in planning the funeral you want at an affordable, fair price. Contact us via our chat window or here on our contact page to get started.
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