Emily Dickinson's Because I Could Not Stop For Death

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“Because I Could Not Stop For Death” by Emily Dickinson is a poem about death being personified in an odd and imaginative way. The poet has a personal encounter with Death, who is male and drives a horse-carriage. They go on a mysterious journey through time and from life to death to an afterlife. The poem begins with its first line being the title, but Emily Dickinson’s poems were written without a title and only numbered when published, after she died in 1886. In the opening stanza the speaker states being too busy for death. Thus, death “kindly” takes the time to stop for her since she has no time to do it for herself. Death stops to pick up the speaker and take her on a ride in his horse-drawn carriage in the form of a suitor along with “immorality” being their chaperon. This “civility” that Death exhibits leads the speaker on giving up what made her busy as Dickinson states “And I had put away / My labor and my leisure too (6-7). The speaker seems completely at ease with the Death as they move along at a relaxed pace. In the third stanza, the reader sees reminders of the world that the speaker is passing through, with children playing, fields of grain, and the sun setting. However, the speakers place in the world shifts between the third stanza and the next. Dickinson states, “We passed the Setting Sun- (12)”, but at the beginning of the fourth stanza, the speaker corrects this by stating, “Or rather – / He passed us – (13) ” because she has died. In the rest of the
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