When someone you love dies, it can be difficult to find the right words to honour their memory.
Funeral poetry can offer a way to celebrate their life and the things that brought them joy. One way to do this is by incorporating their hobbies into the poetry. Here are some examples of funeral poems that pay tribute to people's hobbies:
If the person you are saying goodbye to was a skydiver, consider including a poem that talks about just that. We met a beautiful man some years ago John, who held a number of world records for his sky diving and when he died we wrote a poem for him called Flying High.
For the Sky Diver
One example is “Flying High” by Kate Armon & Craig Smith (excerpt) Poetry For Funerals
“Flying high above the clouds,
My adrenaline starts to flow,
The plane doors open, I feel the wind,
It’s time for me to go.
For the Music Lover
If the person you are honouring was a music lover, consider including a poem that speaks to the power of music to heal and inspire.
One example is "Music, When Soft Voices Die" (excerpt) by Percy Bysshe Shelley:
"Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory—
Odours, when sweet violets sicken,
Live within the sense they quicken."
This poem speaks to the way that music can live on in our memories long after the sound has faded.
For the Actor
If the person you are honouring was an actor, consider incorporating a poem that speaks about the stage, the smell of the greasepaint, the thrill of the show.
One example is “Her Encore” by Kate Armon & Craig Smith (excerpt) Poetry For Funerals
“As the curtains fall,
And the lights start to fade,
An actress stands silently
Upon her last stage.”
This poem speaks to the way that the stage made her feel, and the memories that will live on forever.
For the Bookworm
If the person you are honouring was an avid reader, consider including a poem that speaks to the power of literature to transport and inspire us.
One example is "A Book" (excerpt) by Emily Dickinson:
"There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry."
This poem speaks to the way that books can open up new worlds to us and carry us away from our everyday lives.
And of course, you can't go past reading Shakespeare, although I know for some it can be a bit daunting. I really enjoyed reading ' Fear no more the heat o' the Sun' it's a beautiful and passionate piece by Shakespeare, perfect for someone who loves literature.
"Fear no more the heat o’ the sun,
Nor the furious winter’s rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust."
For the Gardener
If the person you are honouring was an avid gardener, consider incorporating a poem that talks about vegetables and flowers and the love of being outside.
Two examples which are from the same book by Kate Armon & Craig Smith (excerpts) Poetry for Funerals are basically the same poem but altered depending on whether the person loved veges or flowers.
“Trowel in hand he stood there proud,
Of Tomatoes that he’d sown.
Of Courgettes, Carrots, Beans and Herbs,
All of which he’d grown.”
“Trowel in hand she stood there proud,
Of flowers that she’d grown,
Of Bromeliads and Cordylines,
All of which she’d sown.”
These two poems allow you to customise the names of the people and the types of flowers or vegetables you include, making them really unique to the person you read them for.
For the Artist
If the person you are honouring was an artist, consider incorporating a poem that speaks to the power of creativity and the way that art can help us to find meaning and purpose in our lives.
One example is "The Creation" (excerpt) by James Weldon Johnson:
"And God stepped out on space,
And he looked around and said:
I'll make me a world."
This poem speaks to the power of creation and the way that artists can bring new worlds into being through their work.
"We Are All Painters" (Excerpt) by Ola Radka
"We mix the colours of sorrow and laughter
And add the colours of experience and the years that passed.
The souls we will always remember
And the moments we will never forget."
For the Mechanic
If the person you are honouring was a mechanic or loved to tinker in the garage, consider a poem about time spent in the shed with tools.
One example is "The Mechanic" by Kate Armon & Craig Smith (excerpt) Poetry for Funerals
" ‘Twas in the shed I heard the sounds
Of engines fast and loud.
The spark of fuel, the smell of oil,
And a man who stood so proud."
This poem is not only about the joys of being a mechanic but about family.
Unique funeral poetry can be a powerful way to honour the memory of someone who has died. By incorporating their hobbies and passions into the poetry, you can celebrate the things that brought them joy and helped to make them who they were. Whether they were a music lover, a bookworm, a sports fan, an artist, or a mechanic there is a poem out there that can speak to their unique spirit and legacy.
For more funeral poetry that encompasses hobbies and interests, check out our book ‘Poetry For Funerals’.