There are several themes running through the poem “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”. The main themes focused on are mortality, immortality, spirituality, and love. The first theme noticed in this poem is mortality. The poem shows the narrator’s attitude toward her death, and what the actual day of her death was like. The narrator paints a picture of the day that does not seem too far from the ordinary. The narrator does not seem to be scared of death, but rather appears to accept it.
Death is introduced right away in line 1. The narrator reminds us that our time of death is not something we choose, but rather something that is determined by forces outside our control. This begins the attitude of “why worry about things I cannot change?” found in the rest of the poem. There is no resistance to death, nor any fear. In line 5, we are reminded that death is in control. He is in the driver’s seat. We are also reminded that death is not necessarily a quick process. The poem shows the dying process, and according to narrator, her life crawled away slowly. The pace seems to reflect the narrator’s peace she feels about death.
The next theme seen running through the poem is actually the opposite of the first; immortality. The memory of the narrator’s death day is being told centuries into the afterlife. In this poem, the narrator explores the idea of perpetual life. This poem shows life after death, which offers an explanation as to why the narrator is so calm about death. Death is not just the end, but rather the beginning, and a step closer to eternity.
In lines 3-4, the narrator knows the journey to death is also just the beginning of the afterlife. She believes that she will continue a life, just not on Earth. In lines 9-11, the children are seen growing up, and the fields going dry, examples of things that don’t last forever. As the narrator passes them, their transience reminds her of her soon to be immortality. In line 21, we see another example of immortality, as the narrator speaks of the centuries passing by.
The third theme running through the poem is spirituality. The narrator appears to be...