Stop All The Clocks Essay

889 words - 4 pages

The four stanza poem “Stop All the Clocks” by W. H. Auden refers to a time and place where the poet wants everything to stand still. Although we do not know who the subject is, we pick up clues throughout the poem to think it is someone close to the poet because of the line “He was my North, my South, my East and West”. The tone of the poem is very sad which is enforced with the use of internal rhyming scheme aabb and couplets with every two lines. The rhythm helps make the poem flow better because a poem that is unorganized and broken makes the audience pay more attention on trying to read the poem instead of understanding the poem. Through the use of literary elements in the poem, Auden conveys the meaning of overwhelming grief and tragic loss, best exemplified in the last lines, "For nothing now can ever come to any good.”
Using the title in the first line of the poem shows that Auden is so overcome with grief that he are commanding the audience to do something that is impossible, “Stop all the clocks”. The first few lines give the impression that he doesn’t want to accept the truth, by stopping time and shutting people out he may be able to preserve the delusion that nothing has happened for a little longer. The verbs in the first three lines explain that the poet wants to eliminate the daily distractions of life; clocks ticking, telephones ringing, dogs barking and pianos playing, so that he can mourn for his loved one in peace. In the last line of the poem, Auden finally lets go of the denial when he says “Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come”.
The second stanza starts off with the line “Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead” where the audience can almost visualize the airplanes moving around the sky almost as if they too were sad about the death of the person. Moaning also appeals to hearing because the sound of the word moaning makes the reader feel sadness. The second stanza shows the audience that Auden is so stricken with grief, that he wants to share his grief with everyone around him. The significance of the word aeroplane is important because the English spell it that way while Americans spell it airplanes, from this we can assume that the setting is somewhere in Britain. Also, Auden talks about putting “crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves” which is something the English used to do. The last line of stanza two says “Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves” which signifies that...

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