Writing your own funeral poem to read at a service can give you the opportunity to create something incredibly personal for the event.
You may have already considered reading a poem at the funeral but just haven’t been able to find anything that expresses the way you feel. It can help you process emotions and think through ideas, as you may be struggling with the weight of your loss. Poetry often exposes us to challenging thoughts and feelings. The process of writing can be therapeutic and creating a poem will result in a truly personal piece of art. Here we look at the process of writing a funeral poem.
Drawing inspiration from memories of your loved one, their habits, personality or anything else that comes to mind will make your poem personal. It is your own personal recollections that will give the poem its emotional power. It is also a good idea to think about how you can make sure that the poem resonates with the audience; this will ensure that everyone is able to recognise the deceased from your reading.
There is no correct way of crafting a poem and everyone will approach it differently with their own style and ideas. When you begin don’t worry about the form and structure of the poem. Initially you just want to get your ideas onto paper. Getting your ideas down in writing will help to get the right emotions and thoughts you want to express. Here, it is best to put down anything that comes to mind. This foundation can then be shaped into poetry.
A great place to start with your poem is to think about the overall theme. Funeral poems can be about loss and grief, or life and love. How do you want people to react to your poem? The theme will affect this. When you’ve worked out a general theme it is much easier to focus and refine your poem so that it portrays a specific emotion or sensation.
The final thing you need to think about is the structure of your poem. Do you want to employ a particular rhyme scheme? Does your poem have a strong rhythm? Here it is best to take a look at some other poems to find out what you would prefer and then you can adapt your poem to this style. If you are really struggling for ideas you could try rhyming couplets - where the last word of each pair of lines rhyme.
Overall, the key is to be confident and proud of what you write. Good luck!