> Funeral Poems > In Memory

In Memory

Author: Joyce Kilmer
This Page Includes: Full Verses of the Poem in Text. A Recording of the Poem (Audio). A Free PDF Download for reading purposes. Free Editable Google Doc Download if you wish to make changes or to personalise the poem. The page also includes what the poem is about, structure of poem and explaining the best parts.

In Memory Poem Verses

Serene and beautiful and very wise,
Most erudite in curious Grecian lore,
You lay and read your learned books, and bore
A weight of unshed tears and silent sighs.
The song within your heart could never rise
Until love bade it spread its wings and soar.
Nor could you look on Beauty's face before
A poet's burning mouth had touched your eyes.

Love is made out of ecstasy and wonder;
Love is a poignant and accustomed pain.
It is a burst of Heaven-shaking thunder;
It is a linnet's fluting after rain.
Love's voice is through your song; above and under
And in each note to echo and remain.

Because Mankind is glad and brave and young,
Full of gay flames that white and scarlet glow,
All joys and passions that Mankind may know
By you were nobly felt and nobly sung.
Because Mankind's heart every day is wrung
By Fate's wild hands that twist and tear it so,
Therefore you echoed Man's undying woe,
A harp Aeolian on Life's branches hung.

So did the ghosts of toiling children hover
About the piteous portals of your mind;
Your eyes, that looked on glory, could discover
The angry scar to which the world was blind:
And it was grief that made Mankind your lover,
And it was grief that made you love Mankind.

Before Christ left the Citadel of Light,
To tread the dreadful way of human birth,
His shadow sometimes fell upon the earth
And those who saw it wept with joy and fright.
“Thou art Apollo, than the sun more bright!”
They cried. “Our music is of little worth,
But thrill our blood with thy creative mirth
Thou god of song, thou lord of lyric might!”

O singing pilgrim! who could love and follow
Your lover Christ, through even love's despair,
You knew within the cypress-darkened hollow
The feet that on the mountain are so fair.
For it was Christ that was your own Apollo,
And thorns were in the laurel on your hair.

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Please note the audio recording may not exactly match the text version as 'In Memory' can be tailored/personalised

Personalised Poem

Would you like to customise this poem? You have the option to personalise it by accessing the provided link, which will direct you to Google Docs. From there, you can download the poem ‘Memories’ to your personal Google Docs account or Microsoft Word where you will be able to edit the poem however you want.

About the poem

The poem describes a person who is serene, beautiful, and very wise, with a great knowledge of Greek literature. However, despite her erudition, she is weighed down by unshed tears and silent sighs. She is unable to experience the full range of human emotion until she falls in love and discovers the transformative power of love. The poem suggests that love is both ecstatic and painful, but ultimately enriches our lives. The last stanza uses the imagery of a red rose symbolizing the Sacred Heart of Jesus and a white rose symbolizing his face to suggest that the power of love is divine and has the ability to turn the barren world into a rich and flowery place. The poem ends with the speaker stating that he is the gardener of Jesus and he shall drink His fragrance in Heaven when he dies.

The Structure of Poem

The poem is structured as a series of three distinct stanzas, with each stanza contributing to the poem's overall themes and tone. The first stanza consists of four lines, while the second and third stanzas consist of six and four lines, respectively. The poem uses a combination of traditional and modern language to create a musical and lyrical effect. The rhyme scheme varies throughout the poem, with the first stanza following an ABAB rhyme scheme and the second and third stanzas following a CDCDCD rhyme scheme. The poem employs vivid imagery and allusions to Greek mythology and Christianity to explore themes of love, grief, and mortality. The structure of the poem is tight and formal, with each stanza building upon the previous one to create a sense of unity and coherence.

Best Quote from In Memory Poem

This is a quote from the poem In Memory by Joyce Kilmer
"Love is made out of ecstasy and wonder; Love is a poignant and accustomed pain. It is a burst of Heaven-shaking thunder; It is a linnet‘s fluting after rain."
This quote beautifully captures the paradoxical nature of love as a complex and intense emotion that can bring both joy and pain. The vivid imagery of "Heaven-shaking thunder" and "linnet's fluting after rain" evoke a sense of the powerful and transformative nature of love.

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