Stop All The Clocks, Cut Off The Telephone: Devices Analysis

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 Today I will focus on the poem ‘Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone’. This poem is by Wystan Hugh Auden. He was an English and an American poet. This is a famous quote of Auden ‘We must love one another or die.’ it shows the value of love for him. It was his life philosophy. He wed Erika Mann, the daughter of German novelist to assist her to escape from Nazi Germany with citizenship. Actually his marriage was fake. To briefly summarize the poem the reader can say that Hugh Auden presents an overwhelming grief and a tragic loss. The poet touches the pain of recent death of a loved one. It is possible to figure out that he wants to share his grief with everyone. The poet emphasizes the need for public mourning. 

The poet uses imagery and metaphor to reveal the situation and his feelings after the eternal departure of person he loves. The tone of this poem is bitter and haunting due to the central idea which supports the need of mourning to share the pain of the loss of someone you love. The first technique I will be looking at is imagery. This technique is important to the poem because Hugh Auden uses it to illustrate the importance of a death to him. We see the first important example of imagery in lines 5, 6, 7 and 8. He wants news of the death to spread across the sky where everyone on Earth can see it. Also emphasizing the relationship between the two is the capitalization of the phrase ‘He Is Dead’ from line 6, Auden makes it glorify and sainted. The funeral procession described in lines 7 and 8. Looking closely at the language the reader can see that the poet attaches importance to spread the lament and the pain, suffering caused by this death. 

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The second technique I will be looking at is metaphor. It is important because exaggerated metaphors are the clues for the significance in this poem. In lines 9, 10 and 11 the metaphors express the feelings to his soul mate. As we can understand from the line 9 ‘He was my North, my South, my East and West’ the person he lost means everything to Auden. In line 10 ‘My working week and my Sunday rest’ implies this relationship between them to be sincere. Overall, the use of metaphor helps to develop the central idea of a public mourning for the precious one’s death. 

In conclusion the themes are tragedy and loss. The whole idea of this poem is about public mourning. The author has been so depressed by the personal loss that he feels the entire world should share his grief. He views his soul mate as a very important person and wishes that no one interrupt his grieving. Auden wants empathy for his pain and want others to join him to help him to cope with the tragic loss and the pathetic days. The technique of imagery used in many places in the poem as he creates a picture of the mourning he wants. And the technique of metaphor is used to show the value of the person from his eyes. And he touches on the emotional suffering, we can visualize the gloomy funeral scene. Also we can feel the silence from the lines 1 and 2 like ‘Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone’ so referring to silence that author wants to mourn the death of his soulmate, silently. After all, poem turns the central of commemorating the person you lost to how precious is that person and end of love which seemed eternal once.


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