Poetry Analysis #2
Because I could not stop for Death
civility: politeness, courtesy
gossamer: very fine and insubstantial
tippet: (woman's apparel) a fur cape or woollen shawl
tulle: sheer, fine material used to make veils
cornice: top course which crowns a wall
surmised (to surmise): to suppose without any evidence
These words add a certain calmness to the poem. It seem as if the speaker fancies Death because she uses delicate words such as the ones stated above. When we think of Death and how it would be described, we often think of horror, evil, and bad things in general. Yet in this poem, Emily Dickinson actually talks of death as her friend or latest acquaintance. These words give a different feeling or even meaning to death in general. The reader can now have a different perception and might be open to the not so horrible version of mortality.
In this poem, the figure of death is personified as a friend, and a gentleman. Here, death is not there to hurt the narrator. This is shown through her own words as she explains the actions of Death-- him “kindly” stopping for her and “his civility” . It is like an act of courtesy that Death picked her up in a carriage because she could not get to him. This might even resemble the outline of a date. In addition, during the carriage ride the author tells us that Death “knew no haste” when he was driving. This means that he is also considerate and cares about letting the speaker take in the all the peacefulness and calmness of her journey.
There are two contrasting views of death one can notice in this poem. We first see death as a kind and nice person, which makes us think of him as a gentleman who only wants to make his lady happy. Then in the second stanza the orthodox vision of death comes in and shifts the reader's thoughts a little. For instance, “ The dews [drawing] quivering and chill”, the speaker's gossamer gown, and her frail clothing...
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