Analysis of Emily Dickinson's "Because I Could Not Stop for Death" In regard to Emily Dickinson’s poem, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death,” Critic Eunice Glenn says: “In the first two lines Death, personified as a carriage driver, stops for one who could not stop for him. The word ‘kindly’ is particularly meaningful, for it instantly characterizes Death. This comes with surprise, too, since death is more often considered grim and terrible” (Glenn). Critic Charles R. Anderson says, “Death, usually rude, sudden, and impersonal, has been transformed into a kindly and leisurely gentleman” (Anderson). Both critics seem to agree on the significance of the word “kindly” in the first two lines of the poem.
Web. 5 May 2014. Shaw, M.N. "Dickinson's Because I Could Not Stop For Death." Explicator 50.1 (1991): 20.
In "Because I could not stop for Death," the poet personifies death, making him a real person with human characteristics. For this reason, many consider this poem one of her greatest works. Chris Semansky has written a great deal about modern and postmodern literature. In the article "An ... ... middle of paper ... ...et al. The Emily Dickinson Handbook.
"The Carriage held just but Ourselves" conveys an intimate feeling, perhaps showing what a personal death is. The dashes at the end of the first three (and throughout the poem) create a feeling of endlessness, and lead up to the powerful fourth line "And Immortality." This is the only fullstop in the poem, and demonstrates how intensely aware the narrator is of both the supernatural and the eternal nature of death. The second stanza reinforces the leisureliness and awareness of eternity that the first stanza conveys. They drive "slowly", with a caesura to accentuate this, and the alliteration of "h" and "n" sounds create a soothing effect - as though comforting words are being whispered.