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Even though different people meet Him at different times in their lives, Death is inevitable. It is a phenomenon that will occur, whether a person wants it or not. Emily Dickinson suggests that when it comes, we should not indulge in fighting Him, rather, we should come along slowly and smoothly, looking back at what we are leaving behind.
We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility (Dickinson, 367)
This stanza clearly indicates Dickinson's admiration for 'His Civility.'; She bows down to the omnipotent He, who knows no haste. She can and will not defy him, for before Him, she is meek as a lamb. She is only a human being, a vulnerable being, whereas, He is eternal and ubiquitous. Hence, running away from Him is impossible and unreasonable. That is why she does not even try to do so. Unlike many other people, Dickinson accepts her mortality.
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However, as we approach the last stanza, the tone of the poem changes from serene to uncertain.
Since then – 'tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity – (Dickinson, 367)
She foregoes her past, but what is she to do now? Where is she going? She does not know; yet, she is still not frightened. The tone does change in the last four lines of the poem, but Dickinson's voice does not tremble. She may not know where she is headed; she only understands that there is no other alternative, and she will go wherever the 'Horses' Heads'; are directed, even if it is toward eternity.
Thus, from this very short poem by Emily Dickinson, we can derive that it is unsound to resist the nature. Nevertheless, Dickinson's ideas are not the only factor that makes this poem memorable and intense. Her vivid imagery and diction also greatly contribute to the overall effect that this poem produces upon its readers. In the fifth stanza, she mentions about passing the house, which seems a swelling of the ground. Apparently, she is describing her grave, but she never actually uses that word.
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground – (Dickinson, 367)
She chooses specific words, such as cornice, to amplify the readers' awareness that she is not daunted by the fact that she will be buried, while simultaneously adding style and gracefulness to her poem.
Finally, Dickinson's 'Because I could not stop for Death'; is worth remembering for numerous reasons. It portrays death as something very natural and almost friendly, which consequently helps us not to stress about it so much. If we are not so afraid of death, perhaps our suffering at the end will be bearable, or maybe even nonexistent. The poem also emphasizes the fact that destiny is unavoidable and trying to prolong it, as well as worrying about it, would only magnify our mental distress. Dickinson's placid tone makes the delivery of these ostensibly grave messages very elegant, and her careful choice of diction sharpens our perception of her poem and her state of mind. When Emily Dickinson meets her ultimate companion, she does not panic; she gives Him her hand. She peacefully departs into the next world, not knowing what awaits her there. Dickinson understands that she is not alone and she is certainly not afraid. Why should we be?
Charters, Ann and Samuel. Literature and Its Writers (An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama). 1997