Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Weekly Workshop: Elegy Eulogy
It seems appropriate to focus on the poetic form of elegy this week. According to the Academy of American Poets, the elegy is comprised of three stages: a song of grief, an appreciation of the dead, and a turning towards solace. Famous elegies include Whitman's "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" and Auden's "In Memory of W.B. Yeats." Not as famous, but certainly just as wonderful, is Paul Guest's poem "Eulogy," first published in 42opus. In this poem, Guest reverses the trajectory of each stage in order to comment on society's fascination with death, and criticize our need for euphamism.