In Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death” she wrote “He kindly stopped for me –“(Dickinson, Line 2) portraying death not only as a human being but talking as if he was acting as a proper gentleman, making this poem very unique as she talked about something so grim. Michael Cummings, a writer, stated that this poem “reveals Emily Dickinson’s calm acceptance of death. It is surprising that she presents the experience as being no more frightening than receiving a gentleman caller” (Cummings).
Dickinson explains that the gentleman was there to pick her up for a simple carriage ride, but soon realize that the gentleman was taking the narrator on a journey to her own headstone. She says “We slowly drove – He knew no haste” (Line 5) revealing that the slow pace showed that the lady was not bothered by the gentleman as they went on this journey of death together.
The fifth stanza is when the poem takes a very interesting twist. Dickinson states “The Cornice – in the Ground –“(Line 20) explaining that they finally have arrived at her grave. In the very next line Dickinson states “Since then – ‘tis Centuries – and yet/ Feels shorter than a day (Line 21-22), saying that she has been dead for centuries now. Throughout this entire poem, Dickinson makes it seem like the narrator, the gentleman, and the reader are all alive and you are on the way to the narrator’s death, but s...
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...rful, but Donne did it without caution.
I really enjoyed both poems, but I did prefer Donne’s over Dickinson’s. I preferred “Death Be Not Proud” over “Because I could not stop for death” because it gave a unique spin on how someone can perceive death. I always thought of death as something that people would fear because it is the end of their time on earth, but John Donne puts his interesting touch on it by degrading death saying that it is basically nothing more than a peasant, owing this specific deed to everyone on earth. I never thought of death this way before, but it is a very interesting point of view. I also enjoyed this poem a little more than Emily Dickinson’s because he seemed very spiteful towards death, saying it had no power of a human life while Dickinson made death out to be something kind, gentle, and something that should be accepted without haste.
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