Although mortality and change are difficult or impossible to fully come to terms with, they have inspired some of the most beautiful art humanity has ever created. From Michelangelo's sculpture, La Pieta, to Shakespeare’s stanzas about Ophelia’s untimely drowning in Hamlet, works of art help us make sense of the inevitability of death and find some beauty in the ephemeral nature of life. |
The interconnectedness of death rites and art makes sense, because the creative process helps us come to understand terrible tragedies and reminds us that the experience of living and witnessing life’s beauty makes the promise of future grief bearable. Most funeral or memorial services feature music and visual art in some capacity. In eulogies and remembrances, quotes from poems, books, or song lyrics can also express profound thoughts that help everyone deal with the sadness they feel. When preparing a funeral in local mausoleums in Marlboro, you can look at these examples of poetry that address the theme of death to give yourself solace and pass them on to those grieving around you.
Poetry on the Loneliness of Death and Grieving One of the seminal features of grief is that it is lonely. Mourners have each other and can find solace in the company of others who are hurting over the loss of a loved one. However, to some extent the grieving process is a lonely one. A poem that expresses this idea is by W. H. Auden. In the “Musee des Beaux Arts," Auden writes: "About suffering they were never wrong,/ The old Masters: how well they understood/ Its human position: how it takes place/ While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along." The poem expresses how isolated it can feel suffering and how impossible it seems for life to go on normally after a tragedy. Expressing your feelings of isolation can help, as can sharing bits of wisdom that give form to the feelings.
W.B. Yeats is another poet who wrote on mortality. In "Sailing to Byzantium," he writes: "That is no country for old men. The young/ In one another’s arms, birds in the trees/ —Those dying generations—at their song." The poem was written in Yeats's older years, when he was contemplating getting older and no longer being young and full of spirit. His poems can give a sense of community to those going through a mid-life, or any kind, of crisis. His poems are hopeful in their recognition that memory and beauty are timeless. When you have lost someone, reminding yourself of these truths can make you feel better.
Poetry on Death, Change, and Hope of Renewal
In a famous poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay”, Robert Frost writes about the persistent change that happens in nature: “Nature’s first green is gold,/ Her hardest hue to hold./ Her early leaf’s a flower;/ But only so an hour.” The larger theme of Frost’s short, but sweet poem is that the young and beautiful spark for a moment, but that everything sees its own autumn season. This eternal truth is comforting in that it is so constant, but bittersweet because life always gives way to death. Frost's writing is hopeful for the future and especially celebrates the present.
When you are dealing with a death and loss, facing the hard realities of the situation can be overwhelming. While visiting loved ones at mausoleums in Marlboro or attending a funeral can lead to sadness, finding art or poetry that gives a sense of camaraderie with others grieving can help.
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