Explication 1: Because I Could Not Stop for Death

Topics: Poetry, Death, Personification Pages: 2 (785 words) Published: November 18, 2010
Poetry is an experience, real or not, that is expressed through word choice, meaning, and any rhyme pattern. There are many types of poems, ballad, sonnet, lyric, free verse, etc. Because poetry is simply based on an experience, there is no correct way of defining a poem. As long as you give a logical explanation of your analysis, then it is correct. Poetry is meant to evoke some kind of emotional response using things such as personification, alliteration, similes, metaphors, symbolism, allusions, and anthropomorphism. In Emily Dickinson’s poem “Because I could not stop for Death” she gives clear ideas about death that are easy to understand and are symbolic.

This particular poem of Dickinson’s consists of six stanzas that are four lines each. In the first stanza, “Because I could not stop for Death/ He kindly stopped for me/ The Carriage held but just Ourselves/ And Immortality” (lis 1-4). Dickinson is suggesting that death comes at random times, and we must accept it whether we’re ready for it or not. She is personifying Death as a gentleman/ suitor, opposed to most cases when we think of death, we think of dark a dreary. “We slowly drove- He knew no haste” (li 5). This line suggests that she is slowly dying, but it also conveys death as patient. As a reader can’t be completely sure as to why she would suggest death to be kind and patient, but only assume it is to personify Death as a living being. “And I had put away/ My labor and my leisure too/ For His Civility” (lis 6-8). Dickinson is saying that because death stopped for her, she put all her work and things she liked to do, to take a ride with him. She uses a good choice of words in this line, because we know exactly what she is trying to suggest and we all know that when you die, you are no longer able to work or do the things you like to do.

The next stanza conveys the speaker’s life flashing before her eyes; Dickinson uses fabulous imagery in this entire stanza. Reading this gives you a great idea...
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