William Cullen Bryant vs Emily Dickinson

Topics: Death, Life, Emily Dickinson Pages: 2 (628 words) Published: March 21, 2005
I have read much of Bryant's poems and life, and now, as a reader of Bryant's work, I'm finding it interesting to compare his style to that of other authors of the same time period such as; Emerson, Thoreau, and Dickinson. In this first comparison of Thanatopsis by Bryant and Because I Could Not Stop For Death by Emily Dickinson, I will contrast the different outlooks on death each author has.

Because I Could Not Stop For Death
1. Poem lyrics of Because I Could Not Stop For Death by Emily Dickinson. Because I could not stop for Death—
He kindly stopped for me—
The Carriage held but just Ourselves—
And Immortality.
We slowly drove—He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility—
We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess—in the Ring—
We passed the fields of Gazing Grain—
We passed the Setting Sun—
Or rather—He passed Us—
The Dews drew quivering and chill—
For only Gossamer, my Gown—
My Tippet—only Tulle—
We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground—
The Roof was scarcely visible—
The Cornice—in the Ground—
Since then—'tis Centuries—and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity—

As I mentioned more in depth, in a previous email, Thanatopsis is a poem devoted to death. It shows the reader Bryant's views on death. He tells us through this poem to accept death as part of life. That death cannot be stopped so trust when you die, and be content with your life you have lived. "Thou go no, like the quarry-slave at night, Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave, Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams." (Lines 76-80)

Emily Dickinson takes a slightly different view on the topic of death in her poem, Because I Could Not Stop For Death. First of all I noticed her capturing use of personification, relating...
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