Funeral poems are a beautiful way of capturing the spirit of a lost one and express the feeling of the people that they have left behind. After all, finding the right words to express feelings can be an emotional challenge, especially in a time of grieving and sadness.
Like funeral music, poems can offer a sense of comfort for those present at a funeral service and will serve as a wonderful reminder of a loved one and the life that they once lived. If you are in the middle of making funeral arrangements and looking for the perfect words to pay tribute to somebody who has passed away, S. Stibbards & Sons have created this list of the 10 most popular funeral poems.
Anne Brontë’s Farewell follows the theme of exploring the concept of a deep sadness that combines grief and joy in a confusing way. It is expressed as a beautiful and heartfelt sentiment that can stay with the reader for a long time after the words have been read out.
“Farewell to thee! But not farewell…To all my fondest thought of Thee; Within my heart they still shall dwell, and they shall cheer and comfort me.
Life seems more sweet that Thou didst live. And men more true Thou wert one; Nothing is lost that Thou dids’t give, Nothing destroy that Thou hast done.”
Remember is a classic Victorian poem that was written by Christina Rossetti. Its context is about remembrance and mourning, and it is a very popular choice of poem for funerals in the United Kingdom.
“Remember me when I am gone away, gone far away into the silent land. When you can no more hold me by the hand, nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day, you tell me of our future that you planned. Only remember me; you understand, it will be late to counsel then or pray.”
Farewell My Friends
Farewell My Friends a very popular funeral poem that was written by Rabindranath Tagore. The words are written from the perspective of somebody who has passed away. It can be a very comforting poem to hear for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one.
“At the turning of my life. I came across good friends, friends who stood by me, even when time raced me by.
Farewell, farewell My friends, I smile and bid you goodbye. No, shed no tears, for I need them not, all I need is your smile.
If you feel sad, do think of me, for that’s what I’ll like. When you live in the hearts of those you love. Remember then, you never die.”
But Not Forgotten
But Not Forgotten was written by Dorothy Parker and is the type of poem that everyone can relate to when going through times of grief. Everybody has lost someone at some point in their lifetime. It’s a short poem about remember the life of those who have passed away.
“I think no matter where you stray, that I shall go with you away. Though you may wander sweeter lands, you will not forget my hands,
Nor yet the way I held my head, nor the tremendous things I said. You will still see me, small and white, and feel my arms about you when, the day comes fluttering back again.
I think, no matter where you be, you’ll hold me in your memory and keep my image there without me, by telling later loves about me.”
Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep
Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep is a popular funeral poem that was written by Mary Elizabeth Frye in 1932. The author wasn’t actually a recognised poet, and because this piece was never officially copyrighted, there has been a lot of debate over the poem’s origin. However, after years of research, authorship was confirmed in 1998.
“Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain. When you wake in the morning hush, I am the swift, uplifting rush. Of quiet birds in circling flight. I am the soft starlight at night.”
She Is Gone
She is Gone is a poem that became very popular in the UK after it was read out at Queen Elizabeth the Mother’s funeral ceremony in 2002. The opening line is a short extract from the short verse “Remember Me” that was written by poet David Harkins in 1982.
“You can shed tears that she is gone, or you can smile because she lived. You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back, or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left.
Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her, or you can be full of the love that you shared.”
All Is Well
All is Well is a poem that is often read at funerals ceremonies across the country. It was written by Henry Scott Holland who was Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford.
“Death is nothing at all, I have only slipped into the next room. I am I and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference in your tone, wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.”
Life Goes On
This popular funeral poem was written by English comedian, actress and singer, Joyce Grenfell. The message that it carries is about carrying on with life after losing somebody you love.
“If I should go before the rest of you, break not a flower. Nor inscribe a stone, nor when I am gone. Speak in a Sunday voice, but be the usual selves. That I have known.
Weep if you must, parting is hell. But life goes on. So …. sing as well.”
The Refuge of the Derelicts
This short reading is taken from The Refuge of the Derelicts that was written between 1905 and 1906 by Samuel Langhorne Clemens otherwise known by his pen name, Mark Twain.
“There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside of the dullest exterior, there is a drama, a comedy and a tragedy.”
I Carry Your Heart with Me
This poem was written by E.E. Cummings and is an enlightening and romantic piece of poetry. It is a piece of writing that is read out at weddings but is also a very popular choice for funeral ceremonies around the world.
“I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart). I am never without it (anywhere I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done, by only me is your doing, my darling). I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
I want no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true). And it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you.”
At S. Stibbards & Sons, our friendly and compassionate team can help you with choosing the most suitable poems for a funeral service. If you would like to talk to us, then please get touch through our contact page today.