The Nature of Death in Emily Dickinson's Poems Essay

The Nature of Death in Emily Dickinson's Poems Essay

Length: 2260 words (6.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Emily Dickinson once said, “Dying is a wild night and a new road.” Some people welcome death with open arms while others cower in fear when confronted in the arms of death. Through the use of ambiguity, metaphors, personification and paradoxes Emily Dickinson still gives readers a sense of vagueness on how she feels about dying. Emily Dickinson inventively expresses the nature of death in the poems, “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain (280)”, “I Heard a fly Buzz—When I Died—(465)“ and “Because I could not stop for Death—(712)”.
Emily Dickinson, who achieved more fame after her death, is said to be one of the greatest American poets of all time. Dickinson communicated through letters and notes and according to Amy Paulson Herstek, author of “Emily Dickinson: Solitary and Celebrated Poet,” “Writing was the way she kept in touch with the world” (15). Dickinson’s style is unique and although unconventional, it led to extraordinary works of literature. Dickinson lived her life in solitude, but in her solitude she was free to read, write and think which led to her nonconformity and strong sense of individualism. Suzanne Juhasz, a biographer of Dickinson, sums up most critics’ idea of Dickinson ideally: “Emily Dickinson is at once the most intimate of poets, and the most guarded. The most self-sufficient, and the neediest. The proudest, and the most vulnerable. These contradictions, which we as her readers encounter repeatedly in her poems, are understandable, not paradoxical, for they result from the tension between the life to which she was born and the one to which she aspired” (1). Dickinson poured her heart and soul into over 1,700
poems, 600 of which relate to death. Paul J. Ferlazzo, a contributing author of “Emily Dickinson” write...


... middle of paper ...


...d A. Walton Litz. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1991. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 10 Apr. 2011.
Hochman, Jhan. “Critical Essay on ‘I Heard a Fly Buzz—When I Died—‘.” Poetry for Students. Mary K. Ruby. Vol. 5. Detroit: Gale Group, 1999. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 10 Apr. 2011.
Morningstar, Carolyn. “’Uncertain stumbling buzz’: Carolyn Morningstar explores creative
uncertainty in Emily Dickinson’s poetry.” The English Review Feb. 2007: 21+. Literature
Resources from Gale. Web. 16 Apr. 2011.
Semansky, Chris. “An overview of Because I Could Not Stop for Death”.” Poetry for Students. Detroit: Gale. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 9 Apr. 2011.
Zarlengo, Kristina. “Critical Essay on ‘I Heard a Fly Buzz—When I Died—‘.” Poetry for Students. Mary K. Ruby. Vol. 5. Detroit: Gale Group, 1999. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 10 Apr. 2011.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Life vs Death and Human vs Nature in Dickinson´s poems Essay

- Emily Dickinson was an American poet from Massachusetts, who lead a strange but mysterious life. She was a very reluctant woman she stayed in her room and rarely talked to anyone, she had an amazing talent she could write poetry. Emily Dickinson wrote over a thousand poems throughout her life that later after her death were published. Dickinson’s poems were brought to life due to her weird but wonderful use of various literary terms. Majority of Dickinson's poems reflect her lifelong fascination with illness, dying and death....   [tags: poetry, American poet, Emily Dickinson]

Powerful Essays
871 words (2.5 pages)

Nature in the Works of Emily Dickinson Essay

- Nature is the most beautiful places for anyone to enjoy peace and stability in the human minds. Emily Dickinson is a naturalist poet that she wants the world to know that peace does exist in the human world and she wants to tell the world. Dickinson's poems are mostly written by "nature", "love", and "death" according to Anna Dunlap in her analysis. Dickinson's sister, Lavinia, is the one who published Dickinson's work, on her first attempt the editor that was responsible was taking her sweet time....   [tags: literary analysis, Emily Dickinson]

Powerful Essays
1384 words (4 pages)

Analysis Of Emily Dickinson 's Poetry Essay

- Emily Dickinson is a very familiar name to most people who have ever been in any kind of Literature class. Dickinson wrote many poems. The total count falls just short of 1,800. However, only about ten were published in her lifetime (Roberts 735). There are several common themes in her poetry, but grief is present in almost all of them. Emily Dickinson’s poetry is a little diverse, but most of her poetry falls into one of these four categories: nature, love, God, or death. The first ironic theme in Dickinson’s poems is nature....   [tags: Poetry, Literature, Death, Emily Dickinson]

Powerful Essays
885 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Emily Dickinson's Death Poems

- Emily Dickinson's Death Poems Emily Dickinson's world was her father's home and garden in a small New England town. She lived most of her life within this private world. Her romantic visions and emotional intensity kept her from making all but a few friends. Because of this life of solitude, she was able to focus on her world more sharply than other authors of her time were. Her poems, carefully tied in packets, were discovered only after she had died. They reveal an unusual awareness of herself and her world, a shy but determined mind....   [tags: Emily Dickinson Poetry Death Dying Essays]

Powerful Essays
3836 words (11 pages)

Essay about Death Is The Thing With Feathers, By Emily Dickinson

- Through countless deaths and years of self reclusion, Emily Dickinson’s poems reflected her experience with death and its progression in ones life. Not only did Dickinson’s work reflect ones experience with death, but four specific pieces of work written by her reveal four stages of death that manifest themselves in a dying person’s life. “Hope Is The Thing With Feathers,” “This Consciousness That is Aware,” “I Heard a Fly buzz - when I died,” and “Because I could not stop for Death,” are the four works by Dickinson that exist to piece together the stages of death a person experiences when they are close to the end....   [tags: Death, Soul, Life, Emily Dickinson]

Powerful Essays
1448 words (4.1 pages)

Laws of Nature: A Theme in Emily Dickinson Poetry Essay

- In the majority of her poems, Emily Dickinson focuses on the laws of nature, and she discusses transformations, death, and the cycle of life. Dickinson spent a lot of time during her life thinking about nature and the world around her. In poem 173, Dickinson is in awe of the transformation that occurs when a caterpillar becomes a butterfly, and, in poem 191, she is once again describing the interaction of different components of nature. Aside from both being about animals and the environment, the poems are both about the complexity and mystique of nature and Dickinson’s admiration for it....   [tags: Poetry Analysis, Poems, Poets]

Powerful Essays
588 words (1.7 pages)

Mortailty and Eternity in Emily Dickinson Poems Essay

- Emily Dickinson is the epitome of the modern poet. Her poetry breaks from the traditional style with dashes to separate ideas. Dickinson, also, challenged the religious belief of her time. Growing up as a Puritan in Massachusetts, Emily Dickinson knew the bible, yet as an adult, she questioned that belief. Many of her poems seem focused on death; death of the body, death of the soul, death of the mind. Why was she so intrigued with death. The poems that embody this theme are: “Success is counted sweetest” (#112), “Safe in the Alabaster Chambers” (#124), “I like a look of Agony” (#339), “I felt a funeral in my brain” (#340), “Because I could not stop for death” (#479), and “I heard a Fly buzz...   [tags: Literary Analysis ]

Powerful Essays
1526 words (4.4 pages)

The Death Of Emily Dickinson Essay

- Death. It is such a hard work to hear. Nobody likes hearing or learning about death, but it is a natural occurrence of life that everyone deals with. Specifically speaking, whenever death is brought up in the context of American Literature, Emily Dickinson is the first poet to come mind. It is easy to look at one of her claustrophobic poems and misinterpret the true message she wants readers to receive. Upon further analysis of these disturbingly detailed works, a reader like myself will find that not only is Dickinson obsessed with death, but also truth, religion, and suffering....   [tags: Poetry, Emily Dickinson, Life, Suffering]

Powerful Essays
1108 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Emily Dickinson's Obsession with Death

- Emily Dickinson's Obsession with Death Emily Dickinson became legendary for her preoccupation with death. All her poems contain stanzas focusing on loss or loneliness, but the most striking ones talk particularly about death, specifically her own death and her own afterlife. Her fascination with the morose gives her poems a rare quality, and gives us insight into a mind we know very little about. What we do know is that Dickinson’s father left her a small amount of money when she was young. This allowed her to spend her time writing and lamenting, instead of seeking out a husband or a profession....   [tags: Emily Dickinson Poetry Poet Death Essays]

Powerful Essays
2687 words (7.7 pages)

Comparing Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson Essays

- Comparing Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson as Poets Often, the poets Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson try to convey the themes of the meaning of nature, or that of death and loneliness.  Although they were born more than fifty years apart their poetry is similar in many ways.  Both poets talk about the power of nature, death and loneliness.  However, Dickinson and Frost are not similar in all poetic aspects.  In fact, they differ greatly in tone. Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost both talk about the power of nature in their poetry.  Dickinson uses this theme in her poem " `Nature' is what we see -."  The power of nature is strongly portrayed in this poem by Dickinson's articulation of what...   [tags: Comparison Poetry Poems Frost Dickinson]

Powerful Essays
1062 words (3 pages)