Poem Types: Elegy

An elegy is a poem that would often be played at a funeral as a song. Almost always melancholy and containing words and phrases that relate to the dead or recently deceased, these poems can be difficult to read and write, but the result is a hard-hitting poem filled with emotion.

Famous Elegies

A Satirical Elegy on the Death of a Late Famous General is a slight twist on an elegy written by Johnathan Swift. The general that is the focus of the poem is almost mocked in this satirical elegy. With a hard-cutting tongue and almost comical language, this elegy is sure to extract a giggle from more than a few!

In Memory of W. B. Yeats is a heart-breaking elegy by W. H. Auden dedicated to W.B. Yeats, a famous poet of the time. Throughout, you can really tell the admiration that Auden has for Yeats and the heartfelt language and emotions poured into every stanza are incredibly evident, even from the first line.

Elegies on Mibba

Death of a Life is a wonderfully short and simple poem that really gets you thinking. Addressed to no one in particular, after reading this poem you will begin to question who this beautiful poem was written in memory of!

The Setting Gates is a beautiful elegy that revolves around the death of the author’s mother. This elegy uses heavy imagery to paint a stunning picture to the reader as they show the pain that losing a parent can bring.

Elegies can stir up a lot of hidden thoughts and feelings in readers and for the writer, can be incredibly difficult to write. Often considered one of the most difficult poem types to write, they can also be therapeutic and incredibly emotive. So if you’ve got someone that you want to honour, why not write an elegy about them?

Special thanks to the 1975 and Formaldehyde. for editing!

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