Figurative Language In Emily Dickinson's Because I Could Not Stop For Death

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Poems are written pieces in which the author, or poet, expresses their thoughts through literary elements and figurative language. They usually hold meanings or themes that the reader is supposed to decipher. In Emily Dickinson’s poem Because I Could Not Stop For Death, she is very inclusive of literary elements and figurative language to tell a story, set a mood, and convey a deep, thought-provoking message.

The poem starts off with a person sitting in a carriage with Death and Immortality. In the poem, they are personified as real beings. Death represents actual death, and Immortality represents the time the person has left. As the first stanza ends, the poem then transcends into the person viewing all the sights as the carriage rides by. First, the person sees a school, seeing the children play. Next, the person passes a field, and lastly, what is thought to be a grave. The poem’s rhythm, along with the poem’s alliterate wording, sets a gentle feel, similar to the feeling of being read a story. The rhythm is quite slow, following along with the frequency of hyphens in each stanza to create pauses. In all 6 stanzas, there are four verses, and in each verse except for the fourth one, the first and third lines have 8 syllables, and the second and fourth have 6. That pattern of syllables sets a pleasant story-like effect as it lets the reader follow along with a beat. The alliteration in the verses also provide a similar tone to that of a children’s book. With the usage of
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