If I should Die: Death Poem Analysis Essay

If I should Die: Death Poem Analysis Essay

Length: 1718 words (4.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson is known for being one of the greatest American poets. She is described as a death-obsessed writer whose poems embodied the truth and hidden humor about death. She proved that death is a mystery and it must be unveiled. Through her poem “If I Should Die”, Emily Dickinson confronts death peacefully. Her approach to death in this poem reflects her spirituality and defines her title as a metaphysical poet.
Readers often conquer that her poems are an autobiography. She dealt with several losses from close family members and friends so she knew death well. Death was a constant battle in Emily Dickinson’s mind. It was a force to be reckoned with. Dickinson has written approximately fifteen hundred poems, of those surviving poems, one sixth of them spoke upon death. She even wrote numerous letters addressed to her family and friends during a time she was grieving from losses herself. Her father died when she was forty-three. She wrote to her mentor begging him to assure her that the “arm of the Lord is [not] shortened, [so] that it cannot save. Eight years later, her mother passed away. Her approach towards death was calmer this time: “She slipped away from our fingers like a flake gathered by the wind, and is now part of the drift called “the infinite.’ ” Ruth Flanders McNaughton states that “Emily Dickinson did not fear death, because she could not believe in eternal damnation; rather, she looked forward to it as an adventure, the passing through a door, the answer to a riddle, the end to her own private Calvary, and perhaps- just perhaps- reunion with all her friends and relatives…” Surprisingly, Dickinson never seemed to associate death with hell, though it seemed she had every right to approach it negativel...


... middle of paper ...


... is peaceful however. In “If I Should Die”, Emily Dickinson continued to reveal her spirituality and proved her label as a metaphysical poet.



Works Cited

Eberwein, Jane Donahue. An Emily Dickinson Encyclopedia. United States (1998). Web. 24 Mar. 2014.
Emsley, Sarah. “Is Emily Dickinson a Metaphysical Poet?” Canadian Review of American Studies 33.3 (2003): 249-265. Academic Search Complete. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.
Ford, Thomas W. “Emily Dickinson and Death.” Midwest Quarterly 4 (1962): 33-44. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.
Humiliata, Mary. “Emily Dickinson-Mystic Poet?” College English (1950): 144-149. JSTOR. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.
McNaughton, Ruth Flanders. Prairie Schooner (1949): 203-214. JSTOR. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.
Schelurich, Neil. “Suffering and Spirituality in the Poetry of Emily Dickinson.” Pastoral Psychology 56.2 (2007): 189-197. Academic Search Complete. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Reality of War and Death Depicted in Owen's Poem, Dulce Et Decorum Est

- If we look at the history of the world with a kaleidoscope, we can see the different aspects of war and what effect it had on the mind of different people and artists such as poets, painters and authors. Many poets romanticized war, luring it with their pen and giving it a beautiful look by glorifying death and obliging young blood to fight for their motherland. For example the poems “Peace” by Rupert Brooke and “Fall In” by Harold Begbie painted war with the highlights of glamorous and sensation....   [tags: Poem Analysis, War Poem, Poetry]

Powerful Essays
1091 words (3.1 pages)

A Story of Blood, Death, Loyalty and Honor Depicted in the Poem, The Song of Roland

- In the poem The Song of Roland, the author relates the spectacular fight between King Charlemagne’s army, the Franks, and the Muslim Saracens. The poem tells a story of blood, death, loyalty and honor. Around 1095, the year in which the First Crusade was initiated, we find the first extant version of this great French epic. While there is truth deeply rooted in the poem, much was emphasized and embellished to attract followers in the crusades. Despite appearing as propaganda, the author succeeded in assembling thousands of volunteers for the launch of the crusades....   [tags: Crusades, Poem Analysis, Poetry]

Powerful Essays
994 words (2.8 pages)

The Death Of An Athlete Dying Young Essay

- The Death of an Athlete and His Career During the prime years of a person’s life or career, many do not realize that youth and success are dwindling. As they age, the unavoidable aspect of death becomes more significant. A.E Housman, the author of “To an Athlete Dying Young,” conveys that everything in life is not going to be happy all the time, but people need to deal with what they have before it is too late. The audience will learn the entire lifecycle of an athlete and how age is a big factor in this....   [tags: Death, Afterlife, Life, Death]

Powerful Essays
1850 words (5.3 pages)

Emily Dickinson 's Death And Death Essay

- Everyone at some point in time unfortunately will lose a loved one. At the time of their passing they may be young or they may be older. Either way we all will or already have experienced the process of losing someone close to your heart. When you’re younger you may be scared of it more. As you get older your views on death may shift. You’ll have a better understanding and will have learned to accept it. Personally have experienced this adverse event both at a young age and older age, I know first hand the feelings the human body goes through....   [tags: Death, Afterlife, Dylan Thomas, Life]

Powerful Essays
1675 words (4.8 pages)

Essay on Death Is Not Proud, By John Donne

- Everyone is going to die; it is a fact of life. Every living thing on this planet will cease to exist at one point or another. John Donne, Walt Whitman, and Mary Oliver all acknowledge this fact in their poetry, but they go beyond the reality of the situation. In “Death Be Not Proud”, John Donne tells Death that it is a slave and eventually it will not be needed. Walt Whitman says that death does not exist and the soul is immortal in “Song of Myself”. Lastly, in “When Death Comes” Oliver describes a vision of life to avoid fearing death....   [tags: Soul, Life, Immortality, Death]

Powerful Essays
988 words (2.8 pages)

Analysis Of The Poem ' Thanatopsis ' Essay

- distances. The artist 's choice of elements indicats the conditional nature of the observations. The colors are used to compliment and support the painting 's composition. The uses of colors show how the clever composition of the painting successfully draws the viewer 's eyes around it. The atmosphere also has pigments. The father the scenery, the more it loses its original appearances, and turns into light blue, closes to the color of sky, and integrates as a whole. This painting is asymmetry with large shapes of trees and mountains balancing small shapes of trees on the left....   [tags: Life, Death, Afterlife, Reincarnation]

Powerful Essays
1193 words (3.4 pages)

Death Be Not Proud, By Emily Dickinson Essay

- Essay 2 Draft: Death and Dying Death is feared by most and hard to except. Do you fear death. While the theme of John Donnie’s “Death Be Not Proud”, Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not GO Gentle into That Good Night”, Emily Dickinson’s “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” is death, one can gain many perspectives of death through the minds of these renown poets. Is death to be feared or embraced. Donnie’s “Death Be Not Proud” uses his sonnet to tell ways in which one can defeat the fear of death and anticipate the happiness of an eternal life....   [tags: Death, Afterlife, Poetry, Emily Dickinson]

Powerful Essays
1190 words (3.4 pages)

Death Of The Night By Emily Dickinson Essay

- Death: Faith in an Eternal Afterlife While thinking of death, thoughts of grief, despair and worry arise. Perhaps this is a product of the darkness often times portrayed of death from contemporary literature, movies, and music. Movies such as “Schindler’s List” and music such as Neil Young’s “Tonight’s the Night” are just a few examples of entertainment that show the darkness and finality of death. These forms of medium only present the idea, as no one who wrote them actually experienced death and therefore the dark thoughts associated with it are ambiguous....   [tags: Death, Emily Dickinson, Afterlife, Hades]

Powerful Essays
1067 words (3 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of The Poem ' Deathly Equal '

- Deathly Equal A Perspective of Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard Life, is commonly not how we act ourselves, but rather how we react to any of the circumstances that we might find ourselves in. Our opinions and perspectives will have more influence over how we conduct ourselves than any sort of fact ever will. The Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard has many underlying themes to go along with the themes that are clearly evident from the surface. Also, we must go to Andrew Dillon and his use of the Latin and the phrase memento mori to recall that all of mankind, no matter the type of life they lived on earth, will eventually die....   [tags: Social class, Sociology, Death, Cemetery]

Powerful Essays
853 words (2.4 pages)

If We Must Die By Claude Mckay Essay

- In the battlefield when fighting against death can be futile, Claude Mckay’s persona in the poem “If We Must Die” gives one last speech to motivate his subordinates for one last stand in order to change despair into the will to fight. Throughout the poem, Mckay utilizes smile, imagery, and diction to strengthen the speech and to portray the enemy as savages. The poem is written in iambic pentameter; but the poet varies the iambic pattern by using trochaic, spondaic, and anapestic feet to underscore images and ideas....   [tags: Iambic pentameter, Poetry, Trochee, Iamb]

Powerful Essays
1024 words (2.9 pages)