In my experience, Short Funeral Poems are the most popular to use within a eulogy.
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Short Funeral Poems
The relationship between poetry and the departed has existed for quite some time and you will frequently see verses and poetic lines inscribed onto gravestones as a way to commemorate the dead.
The writers of these poetic lines tend to have a unique way with words and this is an ability that most people aren’t able to tap into. For that reason, it’s common for those dealing with the passing of a loved one to borrow a beautiful phrase or an entire poem not only to express their own emotions but also to say what everybody else is feeling in a way that is more profound.
Everybody experiences grief but funerals are one of those unique moments where the grief is shared among everybody in the room. In many cases, even short funeral poems are used to bring people together and provide comfort, reassurance, and even entertainment, as some poems are written specifically with the intent of comic relief.
There is an abundance of funeral poems both long and small; with the Internet, you are likely to find collections of poems, making it easy to search for one that is appropriate for the occasion.
Why Use Short Funeral Poems?
There really is no single reason why you should or shouldn’t use a funeral poem and the decision is entirely up to you.
Many people find it extremely difficult to put together words of their own and may even feel pressured into saying something profound. However, it may be easy to integrate short funeral poems into a longer eulogy that consists mostly of your own personal sentiments. However, the addition of a famous or even obscure poem can help you tie together the eulogy and create something of greater significance.
Words also have a way of sticking with people, especially when they are connected to such heavy emotions, and using a poem is a great way to create a lasting impression. You may find something that is instantly recognizable but you may also be able to introduce the people around you to a beautiful poem that they have yet to hear.
The poem becomes not only a way to remember the deceased but to remember this moment of grief that is being shared with everybody in the room. Specifically, you might use a poem for all of the following reasons:
- To bring people together
- To make people smile
- To use on a gravestone
- To publish in a funeral program
- To create a more powerful eulogy
People also choose poems because they can replace religious readings. Sometimes the people who pass or the people attending the funeral aren’t religious, meaning that a religious text may not be powerful or necessary. There are countless poems that have no religious theme or connections, making them more neutral or inclusive options.
Also, not everybody chooses to be buried and with fewer people choosing to be buried, it’s less common for poems to be inscribed onto gravestones. However, you can still have them inscribed onto urns or another memento of the one who has passed.
Personalizing a Eulogy to a Loved One
Oftentimes, poetry can be used to personalize your eulogy to fit the occasion and to be more in line with the personality of the departed. Perhaps the individual you are writing your eulogy for had a favorite poem, in which case you could recite this at the funeral.
Other times, funeral poems are intended to evoke a particular emotion and you may choose your poem based on the tone that you want to set or the emotion that you want everybody to feel. Sometimes this is a feeling of sadness or happiness; other times, poems are worded in a way that allows people to form their own ideas and interpretations.
You can find poems in classic styles as well as poems that feel more contemporary so it’s all about finding the poems that are most appropriate. You may also find poems that are specific to your relationship to the deceased and while this may mean a lot to you, you will have to decide whether or not it’s the best thing to recite as people attending the funeral will have different relationships with the deceased.
Of course, you are not limited to poems that are already written and if you feel creative, you can always write a poem of your own.
Writing Your Own Eulogy Poem
When people choose a famous poem to recite at a funeral, it’s often because they don’t feel as if they can come up with the words on their own. However, if you are a creative person or feel as if the eulogy would be more memorable with a poem of your own, you can feel free to write one yourself.
There is no right or wrong way to write your own poem and you can even model your own after a famous one that you have read in the past. They also don’t have to be long; in many cases, short funeral poems might be preferred. By writing your own poem, you should be able to personalize it more than anybody else could so it makes sense that it could be more powerful.
Writing a poem doesn’t necessarily require any past experience but you can feel free to do research, read some famous poems, and get a feel for how funeral poems are put together. In doing so, you can craft a poem of your own that will be a memorable part of the funeral.
Publish in the Funeral Program
Nobody says that you have to recite your poem out loud. Whether you feel uncomfortable reciting it out loud or want to have it printed for other reasons, poems are commonly published in the funeral program.
This can be a better way for people to associate the poem with the person who has passed and for many, it’s better to read the people than to listen to it. Of course, even if you print the poem in the program, you will still be able to recite it and this would allow people to follow along. With that in mind, you can more or less print the poem on anything that you want.
Often, people have pictures printed and framed and sometimes they will print a religious verse or a poem on the picture itself. Other times, poems are inscribed onto gravestones or urns if the person is to be cremated. This makes sense because fewer people are choosing to be buried and with people looking for a way to replace religious readings, poems serve as a viable alternative.
Finding the Right Funeral Poem
It can be difficult to find the right poem but with the Internet, the task may be a bit easier. You are likely to find a number of different resources that help you choose a poem according to theme and tone. The collections or databases will likely be organized by such categories.
This goes for both long and short funeral poems so no matter what your desired length is, you should be able to find different collections and anthologies that are full of poems that will be appropriate for your situation. Not only will you find poems that are unique to the tone you are trying to set but you will also find poems that are unique to your relationship with the deceased. For example, there may be some peoples that are suitable to be read at funerals for fathers, mothers, or grandparents as well as friends and even children.
Tips for Choosing the Right Poem
When you are choosing a poem either to be read or printed, you will want to consider the individual and your relationship to him or her.
Think carefully about what this person enjoyed throughout his or her lifetime, what he or she thought to be important, and how he or she would want to be remembered. Different poems will evoke different emotions that people may ultimately associate with the individual who has passed so you want to choose carefully.
Consider the audience
However, it’s also important that you consider your audience and how you want them to feel. Do you prefer a heavy emotional piece that motivates people to reflect on the loss and their times spent with the deceased? Or do you want to create feelings of celebration with a light-hearted poem that is perhaps somewhat comical?
While settling on the perfect poem may seem difficult, you can also discuss things with your family, talk to them about your ideas, and see if they have any feedback. If you decide to write your own poem, you may even find it helpful to collaborate with different friends or family members who could provide their own creative input.
Lastly, make sure that you are comfortable reading the poem out loud. This might mean looking for words or phrases that you don’t feel comfortable saying as well as those words or phrases that some people might not be comfortable hearing. The last thing that you want to do is stir up additional emotions that might be inappropriate for the occasion.
Religious or Non-Religious Funeral Poems
One of the biggest factors in choosing a funeral poem is whether or not you want there to be a religious undertone. Often, poems have obvious religious sentiments so once you decide whether or not you want the religious aspect, you will be able to narrow your search quite a bit.
There are countless religious poems out there for all different religions but if you prefer a more neutral poem, you won’t have any trouble finding one. Whether it’s a famous poem that has to do with remembrance and grief or a poem that has been written specifically for a eulogy, there are plenty available.
The Importance of Choosing a Short Poem
Whether you are reciting or printing the poem, you need to be concerned about the length and there are a number of reasons to aim for a shorter poem.
If you intend to print the poem either on the funeral program or elsewhere, you won’t have unlimited space, especially if you want the entire poem to appear in print. There are countless short funeral poems, many of which are just a few lines long. In choosing a short poem, you ensure that the words fit on the page, the gravestone, the urn, or any other item that you wish to use as a form of remembrance.
In terms of recitation, however, keep in mind that people are out there listening and as much as they may enjoy the words, it’s easy for people to lose their attention even during such an emotional time.
More importantly, there might be other people who plan on speaking so it’s important that you are considerate of their wishes and are paying attention to the time that is passing. Making sure that the poem is relatively short ensures that you get your point across without taking up too much time.
Crafting a Memorable Eulogy and Funeral
The funeral and the surrounding events are when it’s most important to bring people together and solidify the memory of the one who has passed. One of the best ways that you can do this is by exchanging words and by creating discussions centered around the one that you love.
By finding the perfect poem, you can inspire the right emotions and craft a eulogy that praises and remembers the deceased in a way that you feel is right. Most importantly, you can do this whether or not you are familiar with poetry.
By finding the right online resources, you can browse through all sorts of different poems and narrow it down to some of your favorites. Once you narrow it down, you can also show the list to your family members and see which one they prefer. If you prefer keeping the poem a surprise, you can pick out your favorite one and save it so that everybody can hear it and experience it for the first time at the funeral.