Lament Any poem expressing deep grief Usually written after the death of a loved one Can be lamenting a loss other than death Related to ELEGY & DIRGE
“Lament” by Edna St. Vincent Millay Listen, children: Your father is dead. From his old coats I'll make you little jackets; I'll make you little trousers From his old pants. There'll be in his pockets Things he used to put there, Keys and pennies Covered with tobacco; Dan shall have the pennies To save in his bank; Anne shall have the keys To make a pretty noise with. Life must go on, And the dead be forgotten; Life must go on, Though good men die; Anne, eat your breakfast; Dan, take your medicine; Life must go on; I forget just why.
Sorrow is my own yard where the new grass flames as it has flamed often before, but not with the cold fire that closes round me this year. Thirty-five years I lived with my husband. The plum tree is white today with masses of flowers. Masses of flowers load the cherry branches and color some bushes yellow and some red, but the grief in my heart is stronger than they, for though they were my joy formerly, today I notice them and turn away forgetting. Today my son told me that in the meadows, at the edge of the heavy woods in the distance, he saw trees of white flowers. I feel that I would like to go there and fall into those flowers and sink into the marsh near them. “The Widow’s Lament in Springtime” by William Carlos Williams
Elegy An occasional poem when read at a funeral or memorial Laments & grieves the death of the poem’s subject Sometimes written in meter with a rhyme scheme Different than EULOGY – a eulogy is a speech for a funeral or memorial
Panegyric Poem of praise & tribute Related to eulogy & ode Highly praises the subject of the poem Ben Johnson wrote a panegyric praising William Shakespeare. Anne Bradstreet wrote one praising Queen Elizabeth.
Epitaph Short poem Meant as an inscription on a tombstone
“Bread and Music” by Conrad Aiken Music I heard with you was more than music, And bread I broke with you was more than bread; Now that I am without you, all is desolate; All that was once so beautiful is dead. Your hands once touched this table and this silver, And I have seen your fingers hold this glass. These things do not remember you, belovèd, And yet your touch upon them will not pass. For it was in my heart you moved among them, And blessed them with your hands and with your eyes; And in my heart they will remember always,— They knew you once, O beautiful and wise.
“Do not stand at my grave and weep” by Mary Elizabeth Frye 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 glints on snow, I am the sun on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning’s hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circling flight. I am the soft starshine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry: I am not there; I did not die.