Because I Could not Stop for death

Poem By Emily Dickinson, Flyer By Emily Nadel



Because I Could not Stop for Death by Emily Dickenson is a poem reflecting a time of death. In the poem, it described how time is of the escence. Death is waiting for her but he gave her time. In the poem it said, "We slowly drove- he knew no haste." (Dickinson) Death is never in a hurry to take away anyone. There is no such thing as too much time or immortality as said in the poem. The poem is taking her in a carriage to all of these amazing places to look back on her life and all of the time she had. in the end of the poem she died looking at all of the beautiful things in the world, However she was in the grave for eternity.


Because I Could not Stop for Death tells the story of the speaker rising from the grave. It is describing in a story of time and how death stopped for the speaker just to give him/her more time in the world to do what he/she needed to do. As said in the poem, they were in no haste. This was so the speaker could enjoy their life from before. This poem is considered to be a narrative because it told the story of how the speaker did not take time to appreciate the moment. In the different stanzas the speaker was saying how death approached him/her and stopped the metaphorical carriage. She went on a a journey through his/her life as emphasized through, "we passed the school…At Recess…Fields of grazing grain…Through the setting sun." (Dickinson) This represents her as a kid, adult, and even as older being . Also, the poem says, "…House that seemed a swelling of the ground… the cornice in the ground…centuries…feels shorter than the day…were toward eternity." (Dickinson) This describes a grave and the speaker being in the grave for what feels like eternities. The poem is kind of expressing a sad tone and mood because the author is trying to show sadness and the movement of time throughout the poem. In the poem, the speaker is not identifiable through the readers eyes. The readers are not told who the speaker is at any point through the poem. The speaker could be death or it could be someone going on their "journey" while dying. The authors attitude towards this poem was death. The Author wanted to show the theme of death. This can be represented by, "A swelling of the ground." (Dickinson) This could be a representation of a grave. Also, in the beginning of the poem the speaker said immortality, while it changed in the end to Eternity in the grave.


The lines on the page are in stanzas. The lines are arranged in groups of four. Each line alternates between eight and six syllables. It is an iambic pentameter where it alternates syllables every line. She may have made the poem this way because she wanted it to be a certain pattern yet free at the same time. Throughout the poem time is represented. In the beginning of the poem time is shown as never-ending, as the poem evolves it is showing the same concept of long-lasting time. for instance, the poem says immortality and then in the end it is eternity. These are both representations of time.There are twenty-four lines in the entire poem. Although, there are twenty-four lines, there is only one period throughout the entire poem. Each sentence contains a dash between some words, and there are a few hyphens. Most of the sentences are pretty short to the point however, they mostly have some metaphorical meaning. The sentence structure is generally noun-verb order however, some sentences don't have nouns at all. The poem contains Enjambments because there is no punctuation present in the poem. The title being Because I Could not Stop for Death means no one can avoid death. Death is a natural thing in life in which no one is supposed to or can avoid. The poem is about death as the title says.


Throughout the poem the text is considered to be formal and unusual. The poems writing \ is considered to be both formal and unusual because the writing is first person yet the writing it is not modern it is more formal and highly educated. Most of the words in the poem are understandable however, as the reader, there were a few words that are not common words today. For example, Conrice, strove, surmised, tippet, and tulle. These words mean things such as crown molding, making great efforts in an idea, something that is true without great evidence of it, a women's long fur scarf, and a net like veil. Some allusions present in the poem are, "My tippet-only Tule" (Dickinson). These are references to women's scarves and veils which, could be a reference for the shadow of death. It also could be a reference to a wedding. In Antigone, she hung herself with her wedding veil. the imager that is present in this poem are generally related to death and time. For example, "We passed the setting sun." (Dickinson) the speaker and Death are not passing the setting sun but rather the sun is passing them, a reminder that, while life has stopped for Death and the speaker, life goes on without them. This is showing they are not the not beneficial creatures in the world. There is also an example of a personification, "The dews drew quivering and chill." (Dickinson) this is saying that the dews are shivering, it is proven that inanimate objects do not more or in this case shiver. These help prove the point of death is not set for a certain time it just happens when it happens.

Musical Devices:

The rhyme scheme in this Poem is irregular because there is not a specific rhyme scheme present throughout. The syllables in the poem go from eight syllables one line to six syllables in another line. The tonal effect is a pattern of eight syllables back to six syllables on the next line. There are equal amounts of Assonance, Consonance, and repetition. It mostly repeats words at the end of some lines. The rest of the text is mostly equal. This poem has the same attitude since the beginning of the poem because at the beginning it was about time and death and the end it is about time and death also.