In “Because I could not stop for Death—”, Dickinson uses paradox to describe the journey through the afterlife in terms of infinite time, leaving the speaker powerless as time no longer truly exists and cannot be measured. Death escorts the speaker ‘toward[s] Eternity’ (line 24); a rather contradicting idea considering the destination has no beginning or end. This journey that the speaker takes with Death, as well as Immortality, appears almost eternal in itself. When capitalized, Eternity is seen as a place rather than an idea. ‘Immortality’ is also capitalized in the fourth line, but like Death, is personified as a passenger of the carriage ride and an extension of her soul. It’s important to note, however, that Immortality and Eternity are not synonymous. No longer in the physical world, the speaker’s soul is immortal and will now forever accompany her through her new journey. Professor Mark Spencer of Southeastern Oklahoma State University sees this distinction as well in his essay “Dickinson’s ‘Because I could not stop for Death’”, stating, “The end of earthly existence is but the first stage in a two...
... middle of paper ...
...so be seen in the very last line where the poem ends with a dash. Although there are no lines following, the dash extends the poem into infinity, never connecting to anything else, suggesting the events in the poem are still happening now. There are only two dashes used in “[In this short Life that only lasts an hour],” and they are not used to slow down anything. In fact, this poem differs from most of Dickinson’s poetry, as it is only two lines rather than a series of quatrains. Greg Sevik, literary journalist and English professor at Le Moyne College, states that “[Dickinson’s] verses usually appear in short-lined quatrains” resulting in a musicality and rhythm unique to Dickinson (26). The fact that this poem deviates from this rhythm, not even completing a quatrain, shows an abrupt end to something expected to be longer, much like how life “only lasts an hour”.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Reoccurring Theme of Death in the Poetry of Emily Dickinson There is a reoccurring theme of death in the poems of Emily Dickinson. This can be seen in poems such as “Because I Could Not Stop For Death”, “I Heard A Fly Buzz When I Died”, “My Life Has Stood A Loaded Gun,” “My Life Closed Twice Before It Closed,” “Heaven is What I Cannot Reach,” and “Death Sets A Thing Significant.” While some of Dickinson’s poems talk about death in an inviting and unafraid way others present the subject in tones of grief and sadness.... [tags: Death, Life, Emily Dickinson, Afterlife]
1728 words (4.9 pages)
- 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]
3836 words (11 pages)
- Emily Dickinson and Adrienne Rich The modernist period, stretching from the late 19th century to approximately 1960, is a very distinct phase in the progression of American literature, employing the use of novel literary techniques which stray away from the traditional literary styles observed in the time preceding the period. Modernist writers explore new styles themes, and content in their compositions, encompassing issues ranging from race (Kate Chopin) to gender (H.D.) to sexuality (James Baldwin), as well as many others.... [tags: Poetry Poets Dickinson Rich Essays]
2737 words (7.8 pages)
- Analysis of Emily Dickinson's The Bustle in a House The Bustle in a House is a poem by Emily Dickinson about the painful loss one feels after the death of a loved one. Dickinson was quite familiar with the kind of pain expressed in her poem. Her father, mother, nephew, and three close friends, all died within an eight-year period. It is no small wonder that a common theme in Dickinson s poetry is death. She uses many literary devices, including structure, imagery, figurative language, sound devices, and capitalization; to convey the hurt one experiences when a loved one passes on.... [tags: Dickinson Bustle in a House Essays]
661 words (1.9 pages)
- Emily Dickinson, the Struggles with Christianity Emily Dickinson’s poems are famous for their use of faith, death, and the supernatural as central themes. She is often the subject in literature classes, but with nearly 1800 poems and writings, one can only scratch the surface of the Emily Dickinson catalogue. Her background in the Christian religion can be found all throughout her writings. At times she seems deeply rooted in her faith, yet other times she seems riddled with doubt. She writes about love and joy, but far more of her poems reflect death and misery.... [tags: Christianity, Religion, Jesus, Islam]
1538 words (4.4 pages)
- Psychological criticism is known as the type of criticism that analyses the writer’s work within the realms of Freud’s psychological theories. Such approach can be used when trying to reconstruct an author’s position throughout their literary writings, as well as understanding whom the author was and how their mind created such works. When considering the work of Emily Dickinson, psychoanalytic criticism comes into play with the role of explaining the many meanings behind her poetry, as to make the reader relate to such poetry on a deeper level or not to who she was as a human being.... [tags: freud, poetry, meanings, desires, concepts]
1087 words (3.1 pages)
- An Annotation of Emily Dickinson's The Last Night that She Lived Dickinson's The Last Night that She Lived presents a meditation on the reaction of the speaker and those with her while they are confronted with the death of a female friend. Strangely, in dealing with the subject of death, Dickinson steers away from the metaphysical aspect of such a heavy situation and remains firmly anchored in the tangible world. The speaker makes no references to God or the afterlife, and her allusions to nature are fleeting.... [tags: Poem Poetry Poet Essays Dickinson Last Night]
979 words (2.8 pages)
- Emily Dickinson can be described as a hermit, living within the walls of her family home for great lengths of time (Young 76). Though this may have been seen as insanity, it has also been described as “an uncompromising commitment to artistic expression” and “as an attempt to undermine the restrictive masculine culture of her time” (Gale 49). This along with her failure to conform to poetic styles of her time, demonstrate Dickinson’s “desire to defy social and gender conventions of her day” (Gale 49).... [tags: Literary Analysis ]
1707 words (4.9 pages)
- Emily Dickinson The life of Emily Dickinson seems to be one of simplicity. After all, she only lived in two houses her entire life. Even though her life might have seemed plain, her mind was fully understanding to a multitude of ideas and feelings. In her poetry you can see her dealing with many concepts and how she feels about certain things in her life. A couple themes I found particularly interesting were death and nature. Death can be a complicated issue for many people. However, for Dickinson it seemed to consume her, and therefore is evident several times within her poetry.... [tags: essays research papers fc]
935 words (2.7 pages)
- B) The riddle we can guess We speedily despise - Not anything is stale so long as yesterday’s surprise - How important is the idea of riddling in Emily Dickinson’s poetry. Cover a range of poems in your answer, and discuss at least four of them in close detail. During the late nineteenth century, Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886) featured as one of the few female poets in the largely male-dominated sphere of American literature. Although she authored 1800 poems, only seven were published during her lifetime - why.... [tags: essays research papers]
2043 words (5.8 pages)