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"Because I Could Not Stop for Death" by Emily Dickinson and "I Heard A Fly Buzz-When I Died".

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"Because I Could Not Stop for Death" by Emily Dickinson and "I Heard A Fly Buzz-When I Died".
Emily Dickinson's poems "Because I Could Not Stop for Death", and "I Heard A Fly Buzz-When I Died", both deal with one of life's few certainties, death.

Dickinson's intense curiosity towards mortality was present in much of her work, and is her legacy as a poet.

"Because I could Not Stop for Death" is one of Emily Dickinson's most discussed and famous poems due to its ambiguous, and unique

view on the popular subject of death. Death in this poem is told as a woman's last trip, which is headed toward eternity. This poem helps to characterize and bring death down to a more personal

level. Different from the more popular views of death being

brutal and cruel, Dickinson makes death seem passive and easy.

The theme of the poem being that death is natural and unstoppable for everybody, but at the same time giving comfort that it is not the end of a soul's journey. The reader can recognize the poem's theme by analysing its voice, imagery, figures of speech, form, diction and especially symbolism; all of which help the reader to understand the poem's meaning. The precise form that Dickinson uses throughout the poem helps convey her message to the reader. The poem is written in five quatrains. The way in which each stanza is written i!

n a quatrain gives the poem unity and makes it easy to read. "Because I Could Not Stop for Death" starts to gives the reader a feeling of forward movement throughout the second and third quatrain. For example, in line 5, Dickinson begins death's journey with a slow, forward movement, which can be seen as she writes, "We slowly drove-He knew no haste."

The third quatrain seems to speed up as the trinity of death, immortality, and the speaker pass the children playing, the fields of grain, and the setting sun one after another. The poem seems to get faster as life goes through its course. In lines 17 and 18, however, the poem seems to slow down as Dickinson writes, "We paused before a House that seemed / A Swelling of the Ground-." The reader is given a feeling of life slowly ending. Another way in which Dickinson uses the form of the poem to convey a message to the reader occurs on line four as she writes,

"And Immortality." The word "Immortality" is given a line by its! elf to show its importance. Perhaps the most notable way in which Dickinson uses form is when she ends the poem with a dash, which seems to indicate that the poem is never ending, just as eternity is never ending.

"I heard a Fly buzz-when I died," points to a disbelief in heaven or any form of afterlife. In this poem, a woman is lying in bed with her family and friends standing all around waiting for her to die. While the family is waiting for her to pass on, she is waiting for "...the King..." This symbolizes some sort of god that will take her away. As the woman dies, her eyes, or windows as they are referred to in the poem, fail and then she "...could not see to see-." As she died she saw "the light" but then her eyes, or windows, failed and she saw nothing. This is the suggestion of there being no afterlife. The woman's soul drifted off into nothingness because there was no afterlife for it to travel to. This is the complete opposite belief about afterlife in Dickinson's other poem,

"Because I Could Not Stop for Death", which indicated that life is a never-ending journey. These two poems deal with similar topics however they are entirely different in that one believes in lif! e after death

and the other does not.

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