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The Theme Of Death In Emily Dickinson's Poetry

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Next to invisible, Emily Dickinson was unknown and unrecognized as a poet in her lifetime, like many authors she found her way into English books long after her death. She is now seen as one of our most treasured poets, and according to some, one of the greatest lyric poets of all times. It is many in the last five decades that books, essays and analyze began to stack up in their mutual attempt to explain her work and her life. Generally seen as being the manifestation of suppressed emotions, Dickinson’s poetry is viewed as a sort of admission and draws the critical eye like the Shakespearean sonnets. Even further back than the work of the Bard himself the idea of death has held a high seat in the realm of literature; throughout the world.…show more content…
She carefully analyzes the sensations of the dying, the response of the onlookers, the awful struggle of the body of her life, the changes in a home after a death, the preparation of the body for the funeral, the church services and even the thoughts of the dead person. Dickinson had a strange fascination for death and would imagine herself dead with mourners walking past her or lying to different friends in order to punish them. Dickinson’s death poems deal with the subject of dying from an intellectual point of view. She sees death as the culmination of the human experience. She wrote a sequence of death poems in which death is what separates people from their beloveds. Dickinson brings into the light the experiences of death as an extension of experiences in this world. The idea is quite macabre and surreal, but presented quite naturally. She tries to understand this experience as another form of the human experience. In some poems Emily Dickinson contrasts the beliefs of death with its realistic occurrence. “I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died” is an excellent instance of this. It has strong sense of skepticism she questions the medieval central principles of civilization. The poem is an ironic reversal of the conventional outlooks towards the moments of death. Here she says; “…. When the King/ Be Witnessed – in the Room–” (“Heard a Fly” 3062, lines 7-8). The true identity king remains an open…show more content…
“Because I Could Not Stop for Death” is her finest poem in that category. On the surface, the poem appears to be just another interpretation of the procession to the grave, but here it is also a metaphor to be viewed in another manner. In the poem, death is viewed and presented from various perspectives. It brings a long wanted release from life and its strains and pressure. It is a force that amplifies a person’s satisfaction in life and a life well lived. Death and immortality may be viewed in two different ways in the poem. Death can be seen as the gallant lover and immortality as a protector. Then dying represents a benefit. Death can also be perceived as a predator and immortality as the partner in the crime. In between these two alternatives, Dickinson leaves an open and unresolved question of which viewpoint is really the most applicable in this poem. The indecision comes because she cannot truly make up her mind about her feelings and attitudes are towards her own death. Dickinson accounts the journey from world of the living, which is all things warm and bright, to the realm of death, which by nature is unknown and thus