"Funeral Blues"by WH Auden and "Everybody Hurts"by REM

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Funeral Blues and Everybody Hurts: A Comparison

Funeral Blues demonstrates a funeral situation where the narrator articulates his sadness over the loss of a loved one. The narrator further expresses how nothing matters to him anymore as nothing can take back his past where he was happy with the loved one. Everybody Hurts by REM is aimed at advising the audience on the importance of not giving up in life since it’s not something new in life as everyone at some point hurts for one reason or another. Although the two present similarities such as showing grief, pain and both are addressing a hurting person, they differ in many ways regarding the themes that stand out, the choice of words and the poetic techniques utilized.

Dealing with Loss and Pain

Funeral Blues poem is dealing with somebody losing a loved one hence the feeling of their world being destroyed as a result of death. The idea of total loss is illustrated, and the poem evokes many emotions including sadness, pain, and despair. Following the death of a loved one, the narrator feels that they lost everything as he describes the loved one as “He was My North, My South, My East, and West…I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong”(9-12). On the other hand, Everybody hurts piece delivers a powerful message evoking emotions of both sorrows and acquiesce which is evident through the recurring stanza “because everybody cries and everybody sometimes hurts” (8-9). Thus, this is a reassurance that no matter what the reader is going through, they are not all alone in their misfortunes since every person as their dilemmas to overcome. Both authors bring out some aspects of sadness.

Poetic Techniques and Messages

By use of poetic techniques; symbolism, in the poem Funeral Blues, the poet assists I portraying key themes such as dependence. For instance, the speaker symbolizes how death affects them showing feelings of grief and denial when he says, “Stop all the clocks…and silence the pianos (1-3)”. REM in everybody hurts aims at reaching to all those feeling hopeless, assisting them to accept that everyone has their share of problems, hence no reason for giving up. The writer uses very straight forward language to pass the message across and repetitive words to emphasize his message, for instance, the use of “everybody hurts,” “You are not alone” (24). Therefore, while Funeral Blues utilizes symbolism and aspects of denial of losing a loved one, REM utilizes straightforward messages while emphasizing the importance of acceptance of one’s situation since every person has their share of hardships.

The Power of Word Choice

Throughout Funeral Blues poem, the choice of words represents unpleasant and sad connotations. Various words such as “silence” (3), “cut-off, “stop” (1) illustrates some sudden and negative connotation. Additionally, the poet uses colors like “Black,” “Blue” to represent intense as well as depressing emotions. Other words such as “pour away,” “pack up” and “dismantle” are a representation of isolation and isolation of the world that the speaker has chosen to be in as he is upset. On the other hand, REM is trying to bring in some positive aspects of not giving up and encouraging those facing tough times to soldier on. He uses some words such as “hold on,” “hang on,” “don’t throw your hand” (20) to inspire and motivate the audience. Further, he encourages the aspect of being around other people rather than being isolated when he says “Take comfort in your friends”(18). By use of rich text, both authors are keen on making their point understood by their audience.

The Themes and Messages Delivered

While Funeral Blues brings out the themes of dependence, death, and grief, Everybody Hurts brings out the themes of pain, sadness, the message of hope and not being alone during tough times. The choice of words and the use of poetic techniques aim at sending a strong message to the audience highlighting the differences in which both authors utilize them to reach out to their audience.

Works Cited

Auden, W.H. The Year's Poetry. London, 1936.

REM. Everybody Hurts. 1992.

December 12, 2023

Art Literature

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