Comparison of Emily Dickinson's 'Because I Could Not Stop for Death' and Denise Levertov's 'A Time Past'
1037 Words4 Pages
Comparison of "Because I Could Not Stop for Death" and "A Time Past" Emily Dickinson's "Because I Could Not Stop For Death" recounts the narrator's final ride and how she is accompanied by a chivalrous Death. In the poem, the narrator describes major landmarks that have made an impact on her life, as well as provides a description of her final resting place. Likewise, in "A Time Past," Denise Levertov looks back at her life, noting how the changes that have occurred to set of stairs parallel the changes that have taken place in her life. In both poems, Dickinson and Levertov write about change, memory, and death and establish a somber, yet reminiscent tone in their poetry. In "Because I Could Not Stop For Death," the narrator describes how she is accompanied by Death, who is described as a gentleman caller. The narrator notes, "Because I could not stop for Death/He kindly stopped for me.../We slowly drove, he knew no hast/And I had put away/My labor, and my leisure too,/For his civility" (Dickinson lines 1-2, 5-8). Through this description, the narrator is able to establish a somber, yet accepting tone in which she does not feel that she has to fight death, but rather accept it as a part of life. Through the narrative of the poem, the narrator is able to demonstrate change through the different landmarks that she passes on her journey. In the poem, change is emphasized through the anaphora that is used to describe the carriage's journey. For instance, the narrator notes