5 min read

Funeral Poems Ideas

When you don't have the right words to convey your feelings of loss, you may find comfort in borrowing sentimental verses from poets. Funeral poems can be a meaningful way to personalise your farewell, whilst articulate loving sentiment. In this blog post, we look at how funeral poems and readings can help us pay tribute to our loved ones with a heartfelt goodbye.

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Considering funeral poems and readings

At a time when we might find it hard to talk about our grief, poetry can be a powerful tool to help us reflect on the lives and legacies of those we have lost. Incorporating funeral poems can help you impart meaning and sentiment, especially if you're struggling to find the words yourself.

If you're speaking at a funeral, a poetry reading can form some or all of your eulogy. Some of the most beautiful poems for funerals may have a particular verse or line that resonates with you and the loss you've experienced- helping to capture all the happiness you shared, at the same time as helping articulate the pain you feel in losing a loved one.

Why Include Funeral Poems & Readings?

Each loss, funeral service and grieving experience is different. With this in mind, there are many reasons why including funeral poems and readings can bring meaning and impact to a funeral service. For grievers and close family members alike, there are several reasons you might consider reading a funeral poem:

  1. They Provide Comfort: Funeral poems and readings can be a source of comfort, peace and solace for those who are grieving. In helping to express emotions and feelings that are difficult to put into words, a funeral poem can provide a sense of connection to something larger than ourselves.

  2. They Honour the Life of the Deceased: Including funeral poems and readings can be a beautiful way to honour the life of the person who has passed away. Whether it's chosen by you or them, a funeral poem can help capture their personality, their passions, and their legacy in a way that is meaningful and lasting.

  3. They Bring People Together: funeral services gather family and friends who may not have seen each other for a while. Funeral poems and readings can provide a shared experience that brings people together, and can help to create a sense of community and support at this hard time.

With this in mind, funeral poems can represent a powerful way to express emotion, personalise a service and bring a sense of closure to death. Whilst choosing funeral poems should be unique to you, there are some popular examples which are used frequently for the reasons explained above.

Popular Funeral Poems & Readings

Choosing the right funeral poem can be difficult. You want to get the right balance of sad, but reflective, as well as personal to your loved one. Even with this in mind, there are countless beautiful and meaningful funeral poems and readings to choose from. We've included a few popular options below to help guide your decision:

  1. "Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep" by Mary Elizabeth Frye: Widely recognised as a popular funeral poem, Frye's words speak to the idea that the person who has passed away is not truly gone, but lives on in memories and love.

  2. "The Dash" by Linda Ellis: This poem reflects on the idea that life is not about the beginning or the end, but about the "dash" in between. It encourages us to live our lives with purpose and meaning with this brevity in mind.

  3. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8: This biblical passage is often read at funerals, and speaks to the idea that there is a time for everything - including life and death. It can provide comfort and perspective for those who are grieving, as well as be a fitting choice for those with religious beliefs.

The right funeral poem can sometimes depend on the relationship to the deceased, as well as the circumstances surrounding their death. Below, we've listed a few more funeral poem examples to help you decide with context in mind:

Poems for a parent

  1. Crossing the Bar by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

  2. Little Father by Li-Young Lee

  3. The Truth the Dead Know by Annie Sexton

  4. Death by Donald Revell

  5. For a Father by Elise Partridge

Poems for a partner

  1. Bereavement by William Lisle Bowles

  2. Remember by Christina Rossetti

  3. Dirge Without Music by Edna St. Vincent Millay

  4. The Man Moves Earth by Cathy Song

  5. The Widow's Lament in Springtime by William Carlos Williams

Poems for a child

  1. Epitaph by Katherine Phillips

  2. Little Elegy by Elinor Wylie

  3. In Memory of a Child by Vachel Lindsay

  4. You Were You Are Elegy by Mary Jo Bang

  5. And Thou art Dead, as Young and Fair by Lord Byron

Funeral Poem for good friends

  1. How It Is by Maxine Kumin

  2. Monody by Herman Melville

  3. An Afternoon at the Beach by Edgar Bowers

  4. Consolation by Robert Louis Stevenson

  5. Dream Land by Christina Rossetti

Say goodbye your way

At Safewill, we understand how important it is to honour your loved one with a personalised memorial. Just having one brief moment to say some meaningful words can have a profound impact on your grieving process, as well as a sense of closure from the funeral service.

It's why we believe in supporting you to plan a meaningful memorial service, why we keep prices affordable and why we're flexible to work to your personalised timeframe.

Reach out to one of our dedicated funeral experts at Safewill Cremations on 1300 942 586, or start alive chat now, to see how we can support you today or in the future.

Last updated 27th June 2022
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Daniela Brinis-Norris
Writer and Editor
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