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Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep

By Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep

I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die

Mary Elizabeth Frye begins the poem with the first two lines which define the meaning of the
poem. The speaker is someone who has passed away and is leaving this message to her dear
ones. She is asking her mourners not to stand at her grave and weep. Although she has been
buried, she says she does not live there any longer. Perhaps, she has moved to a better place and
perhaps she is pertaining to heaven.
In the lines 3, 4, 5 and 6, we find the poet has used numerous metaphors to bring relief to her
mourners. The speaker uses metaphor to express the message that she is still present in the
surroundings even if she is dead. She uses the various aspects of nature to symbolize freedom,
happiness and comfort. She tells her loved ones that they can think of her when they see the
snow and the sun, feel the wind and the rain. Phrases like sun on ripened grain and gentle
autumn rain are signs of comfort and relief.
In the lines 7, 8, 9 and 10, the poet uses imageries in these lines to bring out more feelings of
hope and intense emotions. The reader can visualize graceful birds flying in circles and stars
lighting up a dark sky. If one has a picture of something, one can feel stronger emotions towards
it. The poem points out the calming images which is the general theme of the poem.

Form: Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep is a simple monologue

Rhyme: Rhyme scheme in the poem is aabb.


The repetition of the lines in Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep, I am not there, I do not
sleep and I did not die emphasizes on the message that the speaker did not die and by these short
emphatic statements she means to provide comfort to her loved ones.


Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep has the tone of magnificence and warmth. We can find
hopefulness and warmth in the tone of the speaker. The ending line of the poem gives hope and
comfort to the people whom the speaker has left behind. The speaker tells her loved ones and the
readers not to stand at her grave and weep. She also provides reasons why they should not weep.

Figurative Speech:


A metaphor is a figure of speech that compares two things but is not clearly stated. The speaker
in this poem is comparing herself to many abstract ideas throughout the poem.
She compares herself to the following, softly falling snow, the diamond glints on snow, sun
on the ripened grain, the gentle autumn rain, swift uplifting rush and soft stars that shine at
night. The speaker is trying to convey to her loved ones that she is not really gone and she can
be found in the simple aspects of nature.

The poem is full of beautiful imageries that expresses the emotions of the speaker who has died
and left her loved ones behind.
Examples of imagery from the poem are, The diamond glint, sunlight are examples of light
imagery which gives a light of hope to the readers. Gentle autumns rain is an example of touch
imagery providing soft and kind emotion to the readers.

A hyperbole is an exaggerated statement and in the poem

A thousand winds is an example of a hyperbole.

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep is a powerful poem for the people who are dealing
with grief. It provides them a sense of satisfaction and consolation. This poem by Mary Elizabeth
Frye has comforted many individuals over the years. When I read this poem, the first person that
came into my mind is my grandmother and my father. My father who never showed any sign of
weakness during the wake. But cried like a child yearning for his mother during the burial. This
really broke me into tears despite that I never really know her that much because she stayed in
the province while my family is in Manila. This poem I think will really give the relatives and
friend some kind of relief that their loved is now in the hands of the Lord and is free of any
suffering. And that even though she is now on the path to afterlife, she will be always be there
with them in their memories and thoughts.