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Because I Could Not Stop For Death

902 words - 4 pages

“Because I could not stop for death,” is a poem written by Emily Elizabeth Dickinson. Dickinson’s style of writing is very different from other poets. She writes down what comes to mind and doesn’t focus her attention on the grammatical errors she has in her poem. She writes in prose, uses many hyphens, and has unconventional punctuations. This, however, is what makes Emily stand out from other poets. Throughout the poem, Dickinson uses free verse, and doesn’t have a pattern of rhyme or meter and most of the lines begin with an unstressed syllable. The last line of each stanza is always short and to the point. Dickinson uses alliteration, as well as, imagery in her poem. Dickinson portrays that although death is a natural stage in one’s life, it is not the end of one’s journey, but a new beginning.

In this poem, the woman did not just die but she has been dead. She is communicating from beyond the grave, by describing her journey with death. Death is portrayed as a gentleman who takes the speaker on a ride to eternity. Dickinson wrote this poem in a way that the reader is able to feel what the woman is going through. In this poem, death is seen as a passive and not as being something bad. Dickinson’s form and tone enables the reader to have an understanding of the message she is trying to convey. In this poem, each verse paints a piece of a picture for the reader and as you get to the end of the poem the picture is completed.
In the opening stanza, in lines one and two the speaker is saying that she was unable to stop for death and so he had to stop for her. In line 2, the speaker says “he kindly stopped for me,” by using the word “kindly” it shows that death is not cruel nor is he frightening, but rather a guide leading her to eternity. When saying “The Carriage held but just Ourselves,” this shows that death is a suitor, and is picking her up in his carriage. The speaker is not afraid when death picks her up, but she just sees it as an act of kindness. Dickinson uses internal rhyme in “held” and “ourselves” which causes the speaker to give up on her life and what it contained.
In the second stanza it says “and I had put away my labor and my leisure too,” this shows that she was doing her daily work when death took her away. In the third stanza it gets pretty interesting. In this stanza, it speaks about the different stages of life-...

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