11 Funeral Poems for Car & Racing Enthusiasts

Updated

There are articles, books, and websites dedicated to funeral poetry. However, finding a funeral poem about cars or racing enthusiasts is challenging. 

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However, we have scoured our resources in search of poems about cars. Some are about death and grief. However, others are about the love of cars. We hope you find something appropriate on our list for your loved one's funeral.

Uplifting Funeral Poems About Cars or Car Racing

Some of our car poems celebrate the feeling of driving a fine automobile. However, other poems are about a specific car that played an important role in someone's life story. 

Here are some poems by both professional and amateur poets that feature cars or driving.

1. "The Driver" by Graeme Cook

This lengthy poem is written for those who have a passion for driving. It begins:

"Some folk drive for transport, just a means unto an end,      
They treat cars as a mere machine and not a trusted friend,  
Concerned only for the badge in front, how bright it may be shining,
And the many pretty toys inside, their egos there defining.
The driver sees it differently, with their car becomes a part,       
Take the road together, hit the road, with a single beating heart,     
The turbo's rising wail, and the exhaust's muscled, subtle growl,     
To the driver's ear, an orchestra, there's music in that howl."

2. "Driving a Cardboard Automobile Without a License" by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

A car may play a prominent role in your parents' love story. In this piece, the poet describes how his parents met on a ride on Coney Island.

Here's the entire poem:

"Driving a cardboard automobile without a license
at the turn of the century
my father ran into my mother
on a fun-ride at Coney Island
having spied each other eating
in a French boardinghouse nearby
And having decided right there and then
that she was right for him entirely
he followed her into
the playland of that evening
where the headlong meeting
of their ephemeral flesh on wheels
hurtled them forever together
And I now in the back seat
of their eternity
reaching out to embrace them"

Sad or Sorrowful Funeral Poems About Cars or Car Racing

Does driving or a car play a role in your grief journey? Here are three poems about driving after the death of a loved one. You'll also find a tribute to a truck driver in this section of our list.

3. "Even Music” by Dorianne Laux

This poem describes "how it feels to go on after the body you love has been put into the ground for eternity." In it, the speaker takes a drive, listening to music as they pass abandoned fireworks booths and red barns.

4. "A Song" by Joseph Brodsky

The phrase, "I wish you were here, dear. I wish you were here," begins each of the three stanzas of "A Song." If you and your loved one drove for relaxation and enjoyment, this poem might speak to you.

The second stanza is as follows:

"I wish you were here, dear,
I wish you were here.
I wish we were in my car,
And you'd shift the gear.
We'd find ourselves elsewhere,
On an unknown shore.
Or else we'd repair
To where we've been before."

5. "September 1961" by Denise Levertov

Denise Levertov pays homage to deceased poets in "September 1961." This particular piece made our list because she describes the loss as taking a meandering drive. 

"But for us the road
Unfurls itself, we count the
Words in our pockets, we wonder 
How it will be without them, we don't
Stop walking, we know
There is far to go, sometimes
"We think a night wind carries
A smell of the sea."

6. "Barry's Miles" by Graeme Cook

This lengthy poem is a tribute to a truck driver named Barry. The final two stanzas state:

"He loved a quiet beer or two, and his children close at hand,
These are the things in life that brought him smiles, 
Sadly now, he's parked his truck, and climbed down from that cab,      
But nought will ever wipe away the miles.

"For he's there in ev'ry gear-change, ev'ry pothole that you miss, 
He's helping you with ev'ry load you carry, 
As the sun glints in your mirrors, he's blowing you a kiss, 
Just look and see the smiling face of Barry."

Funny Funeral Poems About Cars or Car Racing

The phrase "funny funeral poems" may sound strange to you. We understand why you might hesitate to include a light-hearted poem at your mom's or dad's funeral. But, on the other hand, perhaps they would have wanted a light-hearted gathering to celebrate their love of life. 

Here are some non-traditional poems about cars you might consider for your loved one's funeral.

7. "My Father Loved Cars" by Pam Newham

We hesitate to add this to our list of funeral poems about cars. While it certainly isn't a traditional "goodbye poem," it does describe the story of a woman who has two mishaps with cars soon after her father's death. The accidents make her think about her father's love for cars. 

"I will not get out of the car to look at the damage.
I will sit and think of how much my father loved cars.
How, even if this had been his car, he would have simply raised his eyebrows.
How he might have said something like, 'Of course, you're a good driver.
You're just not a very good parker.'"
And then I will rest my head on the steering wheel.
And then I will begin to grieve for my father who is dead."

8. "Last Request" by Michael Palmer

The first stanza of this poem instructs:

"Bury me in a cocoa pod, it's time.
Bury me in a Mercedes Benz, a

silver one, I've met my end.
Bury me in a lobster shell"

While this may sound confusing, the ending lines of the poem sum up thoughts of the poet regarding death:

"Or plant me with the poets in an opium pipe,
its glowing ring of light.

Stick me in the ground
without a thought without a sound."

9. "My Night on Thunder Road" by Robert Morris

This lengthy poem by an amateur poet is about hauling "white lightning." Is this appropriate for a funeral poem? We leave that decision to you and the rest of your family.

The speaker in the poem states:

"I always wanted to drive.
Thought this life would be exciting.
Told to keep away from this game.
It's dangerous hauling white lightning."

However, things don't end up well, as you can see by the final two stanzas:

"The car quickly caught fire.
The door was jammed, options were few.
It was like an atom bomb going off,
when the flames caught the Mountain Dew.

"The next night, my funeral was held.
Played a song about some bird in a tree.
The car lights, they stretched for miles.
This life I guess was not for me."

Short Funeral Poems About Cars or Car Racing

Funeral poems about car races are challenging to find. However, here's one about the love of motorcycles, as well as other short pieces that might suit the occasion.

10. "To Ride" by Graeme Cook

While most of the poems on our list are about cars or trucks, this poem is about the love of riding a motorcycle. It isn't a traditional funeral poem, but you might choose it to celebrate your loved one's passion for riding bikes.

It begins:

"Caring little for the elements, 
or the bugs that strikes my teeth,
Not just transportation, 
it's my passion there beneath,
Man and machine in oneness, 
as the scenes beside me gliding,
Not a lot can touch it, 
the pure pleasure of me riding."

11. "The Automobile" by Percy MacKaye

While this is one of the most "literary" poems on our list, this sonnet may not be for everyone. The poem was published around 1917, so this may be one of the first poems written about the subject. 

It begins:

"Fluid the world flowed under us: the hills 
Billow on billow of umbrageous green 
Heaved us, aghast, to fresh horizons, seen 
One rapturous instant, blind with flash of rills 
And silver-rising storms and dewy stills 
Of dripping boulders, till the dim ravine 
Drowned us again in leafage, whose serene 
Coverts grew loud with our tumultuous wills."

Use the Automobile in Other Ways at Your Loved One's Funeral

How do you celebrate the deceased's love of cars at their funeral? If you aren't able to find a funeral poem about cars that you like, consider playing a song about cars or driving. You can also feature photos of your loved one with their favorite cars or pictures of your super fan at a NASCAR event. 

Funeral products can also be personalized to reflect the interests of the deceased. For example, you can have a customized urn made in the shape of your loved one's favorite car or purchase a specialized casket for burial.

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