When planning the funeral of a loved one, reciting poetry during the proceedings can help mourners find comfort in shared suffering.
The Telegraph has compiled a selection of poems apt for marking the departure of a friend or relative, many of which are inscribed in part on gravestones or read out at funerals.
Among the most popular are Remember Me as You Pass By, Do Not Stand By My Grave and Weep, Rudyard Kipling’s If and When I think of Death by Maya Angelou.
Others, which are specifically non-religious, include When I am dead my dearest by Christina Rossetti, Funeral Blues by W H Auden and Remember Me by Margaret Mead.
According to the publication, when choosing a poem to read at a funeral, the most important consideration is being true to the person who has passed away, thinking about what they loved in their life and how this impacts on the choice of poem.
It’s also important to consider the audience who will be listening to the poem – words can stir emotions, and poems can comfort, celebrate or encourage reflection, so decide which feelings you want to focus on.
Shorter poems can be good for keeping the attention of listeners, who may otherwise lose focus. It’s also worthwhile choosing a poem you feel comfortable reading aloud and practising beforehand.
Take time over the choice – there are many wonderful poems perfect for reading at a funeral to remember a loved one. Making the right choice can ensure the proceedings are memorable for all the right reasons.
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