When you think of a eulogy, the first thing that likely comes to mind is a long, tearful, inspiring speech given at someone’s funeral. I know that was the first thing I thought of. This is, however, an actual poetry form. And it’s a beautiful one, at that.
Like so many other good things, eulogy poems are Greek in origin. Their set up is standard, three stanzas made up of four lines each. The first and second, then third and fourth lines in each should rhyme.
The stanzas of a eulogy poem are broken up by topic; the first should be a lament, the sorrow and grief of the loss. The second stanza is a praise of the one who’s passed away. The final stanza is solace, something good that can be taken away from this loss.
As always, I won’t subject you to my own terrible eulogy poem. Here’s one by my favorite poet of all time, Emily Dickenson.
So Proud She Was To Die
So proud she was to die
It made us all ashamed
That what we cherished, so unknown
To her desire seemed.
So satisfied to go
Where none of us should be,
Immediately, that anguish stooped
Almost to jealousy.
If any of you get a chance, tell my husband I want that read at my funeral.
Afterthought- I wrote this post a week ago, like normal. I had no idea when I wrote it that it would post the day after one of my favorite actors from my childhood passed on. The world is a poorer place now that Lenard Nemoy has left us. Let’s remember to pray for his family and friends, and thank him in our hearts for the hours of joy he brought us on stage.