Poetry has meaning far beyond words. People love it. Poetry speaks to the emotions and the senses. It speaks of mystery and the indefinable. It’s not what a poem says that matters most, it’s how it makes people feel.

This is why poetry works well in a funeral ceremony. And it provides a useful antidote to all that prose which everyone else has been speaking.

If you can’t lay your hands on a good poem immediately, there are lots close by.

Type ‘funeral poem’ into your search engine and you’ll be spoiled for choice.

Buy a copy of Poems and Readings for Funerals edited by Julia Watson, published by Penguin.

Buy Seasons of Life: Prose and Poetry for Secular Ceremonies and Private Reflection, published by the Rationalist Press

Buy The Complete Book of Funeral Planning, Readings and Music published by Foulsham.

Search the Poetry Society

Search the Poetry Foundation

Perhaps a member of your family or a close friend would like to write a special poem. Even if you don’t think it’s very good, it is likely to go down better than a ‘real’ one.

Tip: don’t include a poem because you think you should. This is just “poetry padding”. Select a meaningful poem that helps to create the feelings you want people to experience.