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Analysis and comments on Because I could not stop for Death -- by Emily Dickinson

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Comment 69 of 419, added on June 10th, 2007 at 3:28 PM.

personally i extremely love this poem as it gives me an insight into
Dickinson's perception of 'Death'. Death in this sense is commenced in such
a matter of fact way especially when the subject matter is so grim. 'Death'
is personified as a kind gentleman which is evident when stated 'He' and he
has 'kindly stopped' for the speaker. He and the speaker are moving in a
'carriage' slowly driving which emphasizes the tranquility of the whole
process and she puts away her leisure and her labor just for his civility
the leisure and labor could be her preoccupations of day to day life. They
pass the 'School', the 'Recess' and the Gazing Grain'. The Gazing Grain
emphasizes the nature embodied which she passes. These things have no
importance to the speaker due to her state.Stanza four however shows
reality hitting her when she mention Or rather-He passed Us-. She is
becoming even more dead as she is 'quivering' and her clothes consist of a
flimsy material 'Gossamer' 'Gown'. She is getting closer to finding out
what lays ahead. Is their such thing as paradise? she feels happy with her
exchange of life for death's 'civility'. She reaches her grave and the the
'roof is scarcely visible' which emphasizes that once the 'Dead' pass away
they are forgotten as they are not visible. This may be the reason that the
setting sun passes her. This whole journey returns to the start as the
'horses head' links with the 'carriage', which remains in a mystery! making
the ending rather ambiguous

Dickinson's consistently uses eccentric use of capitals and concrete
imagery to convey her feelings of death but she remains ambivalent in her
poetry. Therefore we must fill in the gaps in order to make sense of what
she is saying .

That is my interpretation of Dickinson's poem i hope it helps...:D

Pinklover from United Kingdom
Comment 68 of 419, added on February 6th, 2007 at 5:20 PM.

if she were alive and i'd fall for this woman..great poetry

Omar Barraza from United States
Comment 67 of 419, added on December 11th, 2006 at 1:24 AM.

one of my favorite poets,emily dickension and her poem,"Because i could not
stop for death" has a tremendious effect on me and my feelings.after
reading this poem everybody can feel that death,the taboo of human
beings,is travelling with us.
here, in the poem death has been personified and it is presented as the
begining of the eternity.the speaker in the poem is trying to represent the
whole life;the children playing in the school suggests the childhood' the
grain suggest the adult,and finally the setting sun suggest the old age of
the human being.And in the last stanza which is in meditative mode of
expression is most important in this poem where we can find the theme of
the poem;human life is only the waiting for eternity which is started with
the death of somebody.

nirajan pokhrel from Nepal
Comment 66 of 419, added on April 18th, 2006 at 1:28 PM.

Rereading Dickinson's poems about DEATH showed me that death in all her
poems is related to immortality.In death she does not see the end of life
;however she see the begining of iternity. In this poem she shows her wide
imagination, and her cleverness to personified Death as a suitor, I liked
that sooooo soo much!

Cloressa Hayes from United States
Comment 65 of 419, added on April 17th, 2006 at 5:32 PM.

I chose this poem because I really enjoyed it. I thought the poem was
about Emily knowing that she would die soon so she writes about what the
trip might be like. Heading toward eternity.............

Sophia Rothman age 11 from United States
Comment 64 of 419, added on April 13th, 2006 at 8:01 AM.

emily writes this because she knows shes near death she died of heatache

nathan from Germany
Comment 63 of 419, added on March 30th, 2006 at 4:24 AM.

i'm french student in english literature. i have to analyse this poem, find
how mode is chosen (i thought descriptive, is there another mode present
here,like lyrical mode?), what imagery and how ?(function and importance of
the imageries, relation of images to the author's mind, predominant sense
impressions, metaphore? allegory?etc), the characterization (maybe
personification of the death by "he"), link with Dickinson's life ?, the
tone, versification ?
So if you can help me for my commentary, thank !!! (i have to give my paper
and to present my work tomorrow !!!) please before this evening, help me!

charlotte from France
Comment 62 of 419, added on March 25th, 2006 at 3:35 PM.

I really like this poem because it tells how the person riding in the
carriage is going to the life of eternity. She passes through schools and
fields and then the setting sun... This is a really good poem. this is one
of my best poem of Emily Dickinson's collection.

Jew Her from United States
Comment 61 of 419, added on March 15th, 2006 at 7:11 PM.

I LOVE, E.D. & especially this poem. I rediscovered it this past Oct when
my mother passed away. I needed comfort to ease my pain, and found it in
E.D.'s writings. Although she (Mom) did not want to leave us "because I
could not stop for death", she had a new great grandaughter on the way,
grandchildren to see grow up, graduate from high school, get married, have
children. Yet, she could not stay "..death kindly stopped for her".. - she
went quickly & did not suffer unduly (a blessing). We are all like this:
too busy to be concerned about death in our daily lives - this is
especially true of the young - teens, yet, when it comes we have to stop
there is no choice; board the carriage that will carry us to eternity
whatever that may be. Most of the time we feel we are immortal - we will
live forever; death is a long way off. Because E.D. did not speak of
saddness in the poem, I think her eternity was heaven (she was from
religious background). When one is faced with dying, one looks back over
the life lived if we have the time we see the especially happy times of our
lives. "..children in the school yard.." carefree & innocent. "..fields of
gazing grain.." adulthood being lived to the fullest; ripened. What have
you done or given to ensure that one is not forgotten - your immortality?
E.D. gave us her work & insight that is so profound for a woman of her
time. Others of us: it may be children, contributions to community, work,
whatever. A beautiful poem to lessen pain & sorrow of loss at the time it
happens & in the future.

Wanda from United States
Comment 60 of 419, added on February 23rd, 2006 at 10:38 AM.

very nice poem i really like it. someday i want to be able to write poems
like u ,u do a very good job.

amanda ostendorf from Japan

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Information about Because I could not stop for Death --

Poet: Emily Dickinson
Poem: 712. Because I could not stop for Death --
Volume: Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Year: 1955
Added: Jan 9 2004
Viewed: 3331 times
Poem of the Day: Nov 10 2002

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