Emily Dickinson once said, “Dying is a wild night and a new road.” Some people welcome death with open arms while others cower in fear when confronted in the arms of death. Through the use of ambiguity, metaphors, personification and paradoxes Emily Dickinson still gives readers a sense of vagueness on how she feels about dying. Emily Dickinson inventively expresses the nature of death in the poems, “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain (280)”, “I Heard a fly Buzz—When I Died—(465)“ and “Because I could not stop for Death—(712)”.
Emily Dickinson's Feelings About Death Revealed in Her Poem, Because I could not stop for Death
Emily Dickinson (1830-1836) is one of the greatest poets in American literature. Although she spent most of her life working in relative anonymity, her status rose sharply following her death and the subsequent publishing of much of her surviving work. Two of Dickinson’s most well-known poems are “Because I could not stop for Death—" and “I heard a Fly buzz - when I died”. I say known as because Dickinson never actually gave her poems proper titles. For this reason, the first lines of her poems have come to be used as a distinguishing reference. This paper will briefly analyze both poems in an attempt to both compare and measure their relative literary merits.
The subject of death, including her own was a very prevalent theme in Emily Dickinson’s poems and letters. Some may find her preoccupation with death morbid, but this was not unusual for her time period. The mindset during Ms. Dickinson’s time was that of being prepared to die, in the 19th century people died of illness and accidents at an alarming rate, not to mention the Civil War had a high number of casualties, she also lived 15 years of her youth next to a cemetery. Dickinson’s view on death was never one of something to be feared she almost romanized death, in her poem “Because I Could not Stop for Death”, she actually personifies death while narrating from beyond the grave. In the first stanza she states “I could not stop for
Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death” is a remarkable masterpiece that exercises thought between the known and the unknown. Critics call Emily Dickinson’s poem a masterpiece with strange “haunting power.”
Through the process of my liberal arts education, I have had several teachers and professors praise and crucify the biographical approach to literary analysis. Dickinson is perhaps more mysterious than any other writer I have studied. Part of the mystery has been created by analysts trying to decipher the meaning of poems written by a reclusive woman who published little of her work while still alive. During her life, Dickinson was not famous. Her fame and much of her profile has been created after her death. In an attempt to decipher her work, several literary scholars have used a biographical approach to Emily Dickinson and her poetry. My knowledge about Dickinson’s
In Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death “ (448), the speaker of the poem is a woman who relates about a situation after her death. The speaker personifies death as a polite and considerate gentleman who takes her in a carriage for a romantic journey; however, at the end of this poem, she finishes her expedition realizing that she has died many years ago.
Writing nearly 1800 poems, Emily Dickinson is known as one of the most distinguished poets of the 19th century. She was born on December 10th in the year of 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts to a very well-known and influential family. Naturally, Emily had the reputation of being a recluse since she was the second born of three children, making her the middle child. Having never been married, she died in the house where she was born on May 15th, 1886. Seemingly her most understood ballad, "Because I Could not Stop for Death" clarifies the desires that Emily Dickinson put on her freedom from common traditions and her strong sense of understanding life as a whole.
she gives have hidden meanings within themselves. There are many more morbid and eerie examples Dickinson used throughout her poem.
Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death” is a remarkable masterpiece that exercises thought between the known and the unknown. In Dickinson’s poem, “Because I could not stop Death,” there is much impression in the tone, in symbols and in the use of imagery that over flow with creativity. One might undoubtedly agree to an eerie, haunting, if not frightening, tone and use of symbolism in Dickinson’s poem.
Two of Emily Dickinson’s poems, “I heard a Fly buzz-when I died” and “Because I could not stop for Death” are both written about life’s stopping point, death. Although the poems are written by the same poet, both poems view death in a different manner. Between the two poems, one views death as having an everlasting life while the other anticipates everlasting life, only to realize it does not exist. While both poems are about death, both poems also illustrate that the outcome of death is a mysterious experience that can only be speculated upon with the anticipation of everlasting life.
At some point, if lucky enough, we all will read something that rings true in such a way that it sticks with us and makes us question and reconnect to our own life. For me it was in Emily Dickinson’s poem, “Because I could not stop for Death.” This specific poem is an excellent example of why her stature as a writer quickly ascended from her first publication. Emily Dickinson lived a life of simplicity and seclusion, yet had experienced so much loss in her life that it became hard to handle. Her poetry is what remained after because of her writing style, her far reaching ideas, and her ability to move and provoke an audience with her words.
In Emily Dickinson’s poem “It Was Not Death”, Dickinson is stuck in a mental state of hopelessness and despair which she cannot define nor understand. As Dickinson does not know the cause of her anguish, she begins the poem by referring to her condition with an unidentified “it”, and throughout the poem she is trying to make sense of this “it”. The poem is written in ballad meter as it consists of four line stanzas that contain alternate lines of iambic tetrameter followed by iambic trimeter.
Modernism for Emily Dickinson has to do with the uncertainty. Emily Dickinson was a somber thinker who doesn’t try to enlighten anyone of anything. Her poems were uniquely written and she wrote about the uncertainty, which makes her poetry easy to empathize with in the 21st century. The 21st century, is a period of science which is used as a tool to make sense of the uncertainty. Emily Dickinson uses her poetry as a means to question and observe the trauma of human existence. For instance, she doesn’t shy away from the reality of death in her poem “Because I could not stop for Death”. Emily Dickinson being obsessed with the concept of death influenced her to question the effect that death creates by painting death as a traveling companion in her poem. Dickinson as a modern writer challenges traditional beliefs such as gender norms and society in her poem “I gave myself to him”. She questions the value of marriage which is treated as a business transition. She also went against traditional writing as demonstrated by her use of punctuation. Emily Dickinson doesn’t purposely strive towards an end or aim to convince the audience of something, which makes her poetry work as riddles so that the reader questions and analyzes her poetry. Through analyzing Emily Dickinson’s poetry, she demonstrates that she is a modern poet by questioning and observing the values of the nineteenth century. Emily Dickinson enables the reader to come up with many interpretations of her poems because
Firstly, the plot of Dickinson’s poem is persuades and takes the reader imagery through different settings and times. In her first poem, “Because I could Not Stop For Death” Emily talks about death and how she experienced it on her own. The second poem was also written about the author’s death and its title “I heard a fly buzz— when I died” leaves a gray area for discussion. The third poem “I felt Funeral In my Brain” Emily Dickinson describing what it would be like to experience her own funeral in consciousness, while her body was dead. Each stanzas of these poems takes reader to a new part of the poet’s journey with death. In the title of three poems, Dickinson states her subject capturing the reader on an adventure of death. The first poem uses the elements of nature represent a cycle of life. The weather is used to represent various life stages in the poem “Because I could not stop for Death”. This poem describes the process of dying right up to and past the moment of death. The speaker, walking along the road of life is picked up and given a carriage ride out of town to her destination, the graveyard and death. In the first poem the death takes the shape of a gentleman, a grim reaper, his paying a visit is normally never welcome by the normal human who finds him at the door. In the poem the woman welcomes him and is going on a date with death. She embraces death and wished to marry him. The speaker and Death pass by the school, the fields of grain and the setting sun,