An Analysis Of ‘Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep’ By Anon

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 sunlight 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 circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
Anon

This blog post aims to analyse the poem ‘Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep’. To begin with I will be analysing the structure of the poem.

Structure

The structure of this poem is very simplistic. It is written in twelve lines with a smooth rhyming pattern of AABB. This helps the poem flow fluently and gives it a sense of coherency. In fact, the rhyme illustrates how clear the poet is on the matter of celebrating life rather than death. The use of the rhyme helps convey the importance of the poet’s interpretation in regards to the meaning of life.

Message

This poem conveys the writers view on grief and loss. In most situations when people are grieving they ‘stand by the grave and weep’. This is the instructions the poet gives on what people shouldn’t do when the writer dies. To begin the poem with instructions is a powerful device. This shows the writer is clear on this subject matter of death. To prove this expertise and understanding, the writer challenges conventional beliefs of death by stating that the writer is not ‘there’ and neither ‘asleep’. The main message in which the writer conveys is that death should be celebrated through aspects that bring life and memories. This is illustrated through the phrases of  personification the writ through nature such as:

  • a thousand winds that blow
  • diamond glints on snow.
  • sunlight on ripened grain.
  • gentle autumn rain.
  • the swift uplifting rush
  • quiet birds in circled flight.
  •  soft stars that shine at night.

These are all beautiful imagery which highlights the beauty in life and moments we admire. Like these vivid imagery, the writer also wants to their life to be remembered in the same manner.

Poetic Devices

  • Repetition: The use of repetition in phrases like ‘I am’ illustrates the poet’s strong sense of identity and confidence in her entities. Furthermore, the use of ‘Do Not…’ illustrates how the poet wants to be remember.
  • Alliteration: The use of the line ‘I am the soft stars that shine at night’ helps illustrate the softness of this imagery. It softens the sentence and makes it memorable.

Overall,  I believe this is a beautiful piece of poetry that is well written and encapsulate the celebration of life and challenges the conventional approach of what death and mourning means.

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