Poetry to Read at a Funeral
Public speaking at a funeral is a common practice, especially if the service will be formal or held in a church. However, if you are not the kind of person who can write a eulogy, or you are not quite up to the task of opening your heart and sharing personal memories of the past, you may want to read a funeral poem instead. By relying on the words of some of the world’s great writers, you can tap into your feelings without being burdened by the idea of having to come up with your own.
Whether you have been asked to speak at a funeral and choose a poem for your own comfort, or if you will be reciting a poem at the family’s request, here are some of the more common verses to turn to in times of grief.
- Death Be Not Proud, John Donne
- Music, When Soft Voices Die, Percy Shelley
- No Coward Soul is Mine, Emily Bronte
- Because I Could Not Stop for Death, Emily Dickinson
- Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
- Let Me Go, Christina Rossetti
- A Psalm of Life, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- Crossing the Bar, Lord Tennyson
- Song of Myself, Walt Whitman
- There is No Death, John McCreery
- Epitaph on My Own Friend, Robert Burns
- Under the Harvest Moon, Carl Sandburg
If you are not a fan of classical poetry, or if none of these funeral poems speak to you, you can also consider reading a funeral song aloud. Oftentimes, we forget to pay attention to the lyrics when listening to a popular song. A recitation from your own perspective can make for a lasting and memorable tribute.