Figurative language plays a key role in the poem, as well. The best example is The Morning after Death, which sounds a lot like mourning after death. In fact, mourning could even replace morning and the poem would still make sense. Another example occurs in the second stanza, when Dickinson uses the words sweeping and putting. By using such cold, unfeeling words when describing matters of the heart, the author creates a numb, distant tone. She really means that after someone dies, one almost has to detach oneself from the feelings of love that once existed for the deceased.
In this essay I am going to compare and contrast ‘When we two parted’ a poem of George Gordon, Lord Byron’s written in 1815 and Letitia Elizabeth Landon’s ‘Love’s last lesson’ written in c1838, both poets are British and of the romantic period.
In the poem “Because I could Not stop for Death”, Emily Dickinson describes death as an experience that she is looking back on. Dickinson uses a variety of elements, such as personification, imagery and irony to get her point across that death is not a dreadful event, but actually a pleasant experience. Although death is often perceived as being depressing and frightening, it should be viewed in a positive way realizing that it is the beginning of eternity.
Death is a controversial and sensitive subject. When discussing death, several questions come to mind about what happens in our afterlife, such as: where do you go and what do you see? Emily Dickinson is a poet who explores her curiosity of death and the afterlife through her creative writing ability. She displays different views on death by writing two contrasting poems: one of a softer side and another of a more ridged and scary side. When looking at dissimilar observations of death it can be seen how private and special it is; it is also understood that death is inevitable so coping with it can be taken in different ways. Emily Dickinson’s poems “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” and “I Heard A Fly Buzz When I Died” show both
The poem’s structure as a sonnet allows the speaker’s feelings of distrust and heartache to gradually manifest themselves as the poem’s plot progresses. Each quatrain develops and intensifies the speaker’s misery, giving the reader a deeper insight into his convoluted emotions. In the first quatrain, the speaker advises his former partner to not be surprised when she “see[s] him holding [his] louring head so low” (2). His refusal to look at her not only highlights his unhappiness but also establishes the gloomy tone of the poem. The speaker then uses the second and third quatrains to justify his remoteness; he explains how he feels betrayed by her and reveals how his distrust has led him
The Vacuum by Howard Nemerov talks about a widower and his late wife, and how he uses the vacuum as a symbol for her death. The poem expresses deep sorrow and sadness that derive from the loneliness of the speaker, after his other half’s passing away. Nemerov attempts to take his readers on a grief-stricken journey, by strategically employing figurative language (mainly personification, metaphor, simile, and alliteration), fractured rhyme schemes and turns in stanza breaks in the poem.
In Patricia Engle’s review of Emily Dickinson’s poem “Because I Could Not Stop For Death”, Engle argues that Dickinson’s poem employs Death as a lover who takes whomever is reading the poem to “heaven”, if you will. She also posits the idea that our eventual death is just a state of mind and we do not all follow the same path to reach Death. The poem, at its core, is about the visceral fear of Death and not wanting to die. I disagree with Engle’s assessment. Engle’s take on Dickinson’s poem is an inaccurate one because it explains that Dickinson does not seem to be afraid of death, that Dickinson is very spiritually aware and even accepting of her eventual fate, and that Dickinson, or the speaker of the poem, has accepted death so he has “stopped” for her.
Reflections Within is a non-traditional stanzaic poem made up of five stanzas containing thirty-four lines that do not form a specific metrical pattern. Rather it is supported by its thematic structure. Each of the five stanzas vary in the amount of lines that each contain. The first stanza is a sestet containing six lines. The same can be observed of the second stanza. The third stanza contains eight lines or an octave. Stanzas four and five are oddly in that their number of lines which are five and nine.
Death is an aspect of life that everyone becomes acquainted with sooner or later. The poem, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death,” by Emily Dickinson, is seen as a reflection of the passing of time in one 's life while living. No one knows when it is their time to die, and we live everyday as if tomorrow it promised. Dickinson is saying that since we as humans tend to live on the expectation for tomorrow, we don 't think about the end of our life or when it will be. That time will stand still when, and only when, life draws to a close, yet it will no longer matter.
The ensuing line states, “He kindly stopped for me” (Line 2). From this, the reader could possibly deduce that the narrator was glad to see death. Dickinson was known throughout her life to have been oddly fascinated with death and immortality, so it’s not out of the question to assume that this fascination was reflected in the narrator’s personality and was why death was welcomed. However, a more likely conclusion is that Dickinson was merely being ironic. Death is ominous as it is a leap into the unknown; we simply cannot fathom the eternity of afterlife. Taking us without consent from our lives (which we already have no power over), and thrusting us into an incomprehensible eternity is not exactly a kind act to commit, thus irony was used in this case. This further strengthens the idea that our lives are out of our control because with or without consent, death will choose to take a life whenever he pleases.
In opposition to “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”, Dickinson published her work of “I Heard a Fly Buzz – When I Died”. In this particular piece of literature, the author disbeliefs in an afterlife. In this poem, a woman is lying on bed with her family surrounding her, waiting for the woman to pass away. The woman, however, is anxiously waiting for “…the kings”, meaning an omnipotent being. Finally when the woman dies, her eyes or windows, as referred in the poem, “could not see to see “. When the woman passes away, she couldn’t see any angels or gods as she expected would be there, but instead, she is fluttered into nothingness. She isn’t traveling to an afterlife as she had expected to unlike in the poem of “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”. The woman finds out that death is a simple end to everything.
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
“Because I could not stop for Death-” is the more famous of Dickinson’s works. The poem is her attempt to visualize the process of actually being dead. As a narrative, the unknown Speaker of the poem describes how the literalized manifestation known as Death “kindly stopped of me-”. Death picks the Speaker up in a carriage and they ride away together – “The Carriage held but just Ourselves — And Immortality.” In this way, Death has been compared to both a suitor and a seducer for the speaker. After all, the Speaker did not actually choose to die and was not even contemplating the end of life. Rather, Death chose the Speaker. The suiter/seducer interpretation provides a double-meaning wherein can be viewed as both the natural progression of life and also the destructive violation of it. Immortality is the third person
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.