The Use of Death in Poetry

The Use of Death in Poetry

Length: 409 words (1.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The Use of Death in Poetry

Poems reveal many inside thoughts of the speaker that can be interpreted by the reader. Death is expressed quite often in poetic work because of the simplicity to be able to express feelings. Suicide, for an example, is a form of death that may be used in poetry and is usually portrayed in a negative fashion. Surprisingly, some poems that involve death have a positive outcome. There are views found in poetry relating to suicide as a form of death that are both positive and negative. Suicide as a negative perspective is a common form of death displayed in poetry. A very good example of death brought upon by suicide is “Richard Cory” by Edwin Arlington Robinson. In the passage, “And he was rich-yes, richer than a king,” Robinson describes the wealth and riches in which he lived. Richard seemed to be a person without problems. Later at the end of the poem in line fifteen the speaker says, “And Richard Cory, one calm summer night, went home and put a bullet through his head.” In one’s opinion, it may appear that money, wealth, and power is not everything. Perhaps Richard Cory was miserable because of the way people gazed at him which describes his suicide. Theoretically, the reader has to try to interpret the poem because of the lack of evidence explaining the reason of Cory’s suicide. This poem is an example of death in a negative perspective. Another poem that explains suicide as a form of death, but in a somewhat positive fashion, is “Résumé” by Dorothy Parker. In the passage, “Nooses give; /Gas smells awful; /You might as well live,” Parker describes that no matter how bad life may be, attempting to kill yourself is much worse. The first impression of this poem may seem negative, but in fact, it is positive because of the way it portrays the pain involved with suicide. Suicide does not guarantee a quick painless exit from an individual’s seemingly gloomy negative view of his or her world. Imagine as you view your life as a thumbs down experience at every turn, and your only way out is to end it all. You decide to hang yourself, but the “Nooses give” or you decide to slit your wrist, but you do not quite cut deep enough. All the pain you feel up to the point of wanting to commit the hideous act of suicide surely cannot compare to the physical anguish of a suicide attempt that just does not go as planned.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Use of Death in Poetry." 18 Feb 2020

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Walt Whitman's Use of the Theme of Death in His Poetry Essay

- Walt Whitman's Use of the Theme of Death in His Poetry Walt Whitman uses the theme of death in his poetry. Whitman's use of death is unlike any other poets. He draws upon his own experiences with death and this makes his poetry real. Whitman spent time as a wound-dresser during the Civil War. During this time, Whitman learned and saw so much. The death that he saw during this time provided him with inspiration in his poetry and ideas and thoughts about death. Throughout Whitman's poetry, the reader can witness his own feelings of death changing and evolving....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
758 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on The Use Of Symbols In "The Masque Of The Red Death"

- Everyone fears their own death, thus why some people will do anything to escape it. In Edgar Allan Poe's short story, “The Masque of the Red Death”, this fear is experienced by all. In the story, a prince named Prospero and his people try to elude the Red Death through seclusion and isolation in the prince's abbey. However, no walls can stop death since it is unavoidable and inescapable. Throughout the story, Poe uses symbols such as the rooms, the masked figure, and the clock to convey the theme that no one can escape death....   [tags: Review Analysis Poetry]

Research Papers
1118 words (3.2 pages)

The Manifestation of Death in Poetry Essay

- Death is a reality that can be interpreted in many ways. Some people fear the possibility of no longer living and others welcome the opportunity for a new life in the afterlife. Many poets have been inspired by death, be it by the approaching death of loved ones or a battle for immortality. Just as each poet is inspired differently, each poem casts a different hue of light on the topic of death giving readers a unique way to look at death. In the poem “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” Emily Dickinson portrays death as a polite gentleman who ushers people into the afterlife....   [tags: Poetry]

Research Papers
1219 words (3.5 pages)

Use of Language and Structure to Illustrate the Journey of Death in Dickinson's Poem, Because I Could Not Stop For Death

- Emily Dickinson had unconventional views, which may explain the disconcertingly charming way in which she describes death in this poem. She presents the arrival of "Death" as a friend, or even a bridegroom, to escort the narrator in a leisurely manner towards her tomb. An awareness of immortality is conveyed throughout the poem by various literary techniques. The poem consists of six quatrains with no regular rhyme pattern, except for an occasional abcb half-rhyme. The numerous internal rhymes, and the alliteration however, creates a smooth and leisurely pace....   [tags: literary techniques, poetry]

Research Papers
831 words (2.4 pages)

The Theme of Death in Poetry by Emily Dickinson and Sylvia Plath Essay

- Death is a prevalent theme in the poetry of both Sylvia Plath and Emily Dickinson. They both examine death from varied angles. There are many similarities as well as differences in the representation of this theme in their poetry. Plath views death as a sinister and intimidating end, while Dickinson depicts death with the endearment of romantic attraction. In the poetry of Plath death is depicted traditionally, while Dickinson attributes some mysticism to the end of life. In the poem "Two Views of a Cadaver Room" Plath attempts to be objective in writing about death from the third person point of view....   [tags: Poetry]

Research Papers
903 words (2.6 pages)

Essay about The Poetry of Michelangelo

- Michelangelo Michelangelo was very talented in many fields of art. One is able to see a relationship between his art and his poetry due to its realistic aspects. People who are acquainted with his art and poetry are able to understand his emotions and ideas. Michelangelo was the greatest living artist of his time. Michelangelo focuses on topics of life. In his poems he discusses categories pertaining to love, death, evil and good, beauty, and women. The first is the fault the artist finds in his ability to be both a poet and painter....   [tags: Poetry]

Free Essays
996 words (2.8 pages)

Poetry Analysis Essay

- A quote from Seamus Heaney’s poem entitled “Summer 1969” is “He painted with his fists and elbows, flourished / The stained cape of his heart as history charged” which will greatly influence my discussion of his developing expressions of his role as an Irish poet. In this essay I will be discussing his poems entitled “Bog Queen”, “Punishment” and “Summer 1969”. In discussing any poet, one must always consider the social and political background to the poetry since poetry never exists in a vacuum but is always influenced by its social and political times....   [tags: Poetry]

Research Papers
1679 words (4.8 pages)

Essay on Romantic Poetry

- Poetry is a varied art form. Poetry is expression with words, using aesthetics and definition. Word choice in poetry is the single most important thing. Devices such as assonance, alliteration and rhythm work in a poem to convey a certain image or to facilitate understanding. Similes and metaphors can take two unlike objects, such as a potato and cinderblock, and if done the correct way use them to describe how Abraham Lincoln dealt with scoundrels. Poetry is beautiful. One of the best genres in poetry, let alone a great literary movement is Romanticism or the post-enlightenment Romantics....   [tags: Poetry]

Research Papers
1129 words (3.2 pages)

The Theme of Death in Poetry Essay

- The Theme of Death in Poetry Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson are two Modern American Poets who consistently wrote about the theme of death. While there are some comparisons between the two poets, when it comes to death as a theme, their writing styles were quite different. Robert Frost’s poem, “Home Burial,” and Emily Dickinson’s poems, “I felt a Funeral in my Brain,” and “I died for Beauty,” are three poems concerning death. While the theme is constant there are differences as well as similarities between the poets and their poems....   [tags: Robert Frost Emily Dickinson Poems Poetry Essays]

Research Papers
829 words (2.4 pages)

Uncertainty in John Donne Poetry Essay

- Poetry of the seventeenth century is among some of the best ever written, however, there is more uncertainty when dealing with particular subjects. The topics, for the most part, are more serious and there is the impression that the poets are earnestly uncertain about their choices. The poets themselves do not want to make any definite lines between what they believe and what could be the reality. John Donne's poems discussing women and religion are among the most noticeable examples of the deliberate use of ambiguity in seventeenth-century poetry....   [tags: Poetry]

Research Papers
660 words (1.9 pages)

All the negative energy created to try to end a life is directed in a more positive way to add meaning to an already existing life. The poem “Résumé” tries to make the reader realize this point. Death may truly be one of the most used themes in English poetry of the past and present. Moreover, death in poetic work is revealed through negative and positive views on life. Although some positive outcomes can be learned as a reader or a speaker of the poem, death in a poetic piece is usually symbolized as a negative approach to one’s life. “Richard Cory” and “Résumé” are but just two poems that help us to realize that suicide is a very negative way to end life. Even though one may not agree killing his or her self is an overall positive decision, it is more frequently happening today. Until people can learn to solve their own problems reasonably, the suicide rate will continue to rise.
Return to