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Death in Poems: “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”

Introduction

One of the most mysterious concepts that has been a topic of interest for numerous poets is death. The fascination with it is explained by the desire of people to grasp the inevitable and view life through the lens of mystery (Daghamin, 2017). One of the poets known for investigating this phenomenon in her works is Emily Dickinson, and her poem Because I could not stop for Death inspired me to try to see it as a turning point in life, but not the end.

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Inspiration Piece

The poem under consideration is one of the many pieces that Dickinson devoted to death. It was written in 1890, and its uniqueness is defined by the author’s approach to the topic (see Appendix A). In her speculations, she attempted to look beyond death in the search for hope in the afterlife and prove her religious and spirituous values (“Because I could not stop for Death,” n.d.). In this way, Dickinson revealed her preoccupation with this theme in life.

In the poem, the author personifies Death and presents him as a gentleman. There is another companion who joined their ride in the carriage, and his name is Immortality (“Because I could not stop for Death,” n.d.). On the way, they pass the fields and playing children as symbols of life, and their inclusion shows the contrast between human existence and their destination. This poetic work brings the thoughts of inevitability and its normalcy and thereby fascinates the reader.

My Art Piece

The poem inspired by the piece of Emily Dickinson reflects on similar notions. Its name is Inevitability, but it does not give a bitter taste to the reader. It is explained by the fact that it is focused on the change itself rather than a depressive state of mind accompanying it. The poem tells the story of a person who is presently on the verge of something new and experiences both joy and fear of what is coming next (see Appendix B). This change is tangible as it is brought by “the breeze on your face” and “the air before the storm,” and it provokes excitement of the man. At the same time, it is accompanied by a sense of inevitability and passing the point of no return, after which one cannot come back.

Connection

The two poems presented above have a thematic connection as well as a number of similarities and differences. The link between them is the theme of death, which is explicitly described in the work of Emily Dickinson and only implied in my poem. For Dickinson, Death is a man who can be a good companion. In my poem, it is not a person, but a change of state or, in other words, the process of passing away. Nevertheless, the theme is the same, but it is expressed differently.

Another distinction is the medium in the poems, and it defines whether the reader experience is personal or mere observation. In the case of Dickinson’s poem, one sees Death while traveling in the carriage and can talk to it. In my poem, the experience of the change or, in other words, death is purely personal, and it implies not observing but feeling it. As for similarities, they are related to the depiction of natural scenery in both poems as a symbol of life in contrast to approaching death. Thus, these two poetic works reflect on the same theme, which is death, but differ in medium and perspective.

References

Because I could not stop for Death by Emily Dickinson. (n.d.). Poetry Foundation. Web.

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Daghamin, R. A. (2017). Reflection on death in the poetry of Emily Dickinson. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 7(4), 148-154.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, May 3). Death in Poems: “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/death-in-poems-because-i-could-not-stop-for-death/

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StudyCorgi. (2022, May 3). Death in Poems: “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”. https://studycorgi.com/death-in-poems-because-i-could-not-stop-for-death/

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StudyCorgi. "Death in Poems: “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”." May 3, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/death-in-poems-because-i-could-not-stop-for-death/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Death in Poems: “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”." May 3, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/death-in-poems-because-i-could-not-stop-for-death/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Death in Poems: “Because I Could Not Stop for Death”'. 3 May.

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