Death in the Poetry of Emily Dickinson - Example Essays

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20 Jan 2012 Start reading Dickinson and you'll quickly realize her fascination with death and dying. Here I've analyzed several of Emily Dickinson's poems Death In Emily Dickinson S Poetry Essay

Death for Emily Dickinson, therefore, was an uncomfortable lacuna which could in no waybe bridged, except by transposing it into a more homely metaphor. Death as a caller, thegrave as a little house—these are a poetic whistling in the dark. In a safe andordered microcosm, she found death an ungoverned and obsessing presence. It could beneither forgotten nor accepted in its present form. Death had possessed too many of herfriends to be reckoned with as a complete abstraction. But when she translated thisoppression into a language of daily routine, she could blot out the reality of death withpictures conjured up by the surrounding images:

28 Apr 2015 Death In Emily Dickinson S Poetry Essay Emily Dickinson was a poet Death In Emily Dickinson S Poetry Essay Death In Emily Dickinson S Poetry Essay of seclusion and solitariness. of books and essays that attempt to explain her poetry and her life. Death is not like an ordinary theme of Dickinson's poetry, it occupied her lifelong attention.

Emily Dickinson & Walt Whitman On Death - Essay Judge

Immortality also creeps into the lines and is pictured as the third person in the carriage ,mentioned in the first stanza. To Emily Dickinson, Death appeared in various guises. At times she treated Death as a courtly lover sometimes again as the dreadful murderer. “Because I could not…”or “A Clock Stopped” deal with the tremendous and irresistible power of Death . These poems also highlight the physical transformation and the final isolation that Death involves. Sometimes she had stressed upon the ghastly aspects of Death by her willing use of the funeral and the religious imagery.

Emily Dickinson - Because I Could Not Stop for Death essays

A comment by Richard Chase on Emily Dickinson's "Because I Could not stop forDeath," reads in part as follows:

The only pressing technical objection to this poem is the remark that "Immortality" in the first stanza is a meretricious and unnecessary personification and that the common sense of the situation demands that Immortality ought to be the destination of the coach and not one of the passengers. The personification of death, however, is unassailable. In the literal meaning of the poem, he is apparently a successful citizen who has amorous but genteel intentions. He is also God. . . .
The trouble with this remark is that it does not present the common sense of thesituation. Emily Dickinson was taught Christian doctrine—not simply Christianmorality but Christian theology—and she knew that the coach cannot head towardimmortality, nor can one of the passengers. Dickinson here compresses two related butdiffering concepts: (1) at death the soul journeys to heaven (eternity), and thus theimage of the carriage and driver is appropriate; and (2) the soul is immortal, and ourimmortality, therefore, "rides" always with us as a copassenger; it is with usbecause the soul is our immortal part and so may be thought of as journeying with us. Thepoet's language is compact and oblique, but there is no false personification in it. Sincethe soul is one's true person (essence, not mask). no personification is needed, exceptpossibly what may be involved in the separable concept of the soul itself. Bothimmortality and death, however, need personification and are given it. The horses' headsare toward eternity, but not toward immortality. Incidentally, why "amorous but genteel"? To those who believe in an,afterlife, death may be kind in taking us from a world of proverbial woe into one ofequally proverbial eternal bliss; the irony is in the contrast between our fear of deathand the kindness of his mission, and it seems unnecessary to call upon an amorousimplication. The idea of the "Bride of Christ" may be permissible but it seemsfar-fetched in the context of the poem as we have it. /96/
from "'Becasue I Could Not Stop for Death,'" American Literature, XXIX (March, 1957), 96.

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Although many friends including Helen Hunt Jackson had encouraged Dickinson to publish her poetry, only a handful of them appeared publicly during her lifetime. Upon her death her sister Lavinia found hundreds of them tied into ‘fascicles’ stitched together by Emily’s own hand. Some were written in pencil, only a few titled, many unfinished. Lavinia enlisted the aid of Higginson and Mabel Loomis Todd to edit them and roughly arrange them chronologically into collections: in 1890, in 1891, and in 1896. The edits were aggressive to standardise punctuation and capitalisation and some poems re-worded, but by and large it was a labour of love. From Thomas Wentworth Higginson's Preface to ;

Emily dickinson death essay - Anne Travers

Writers in the 19th century lived in the society where Christianity was the dominant religion. This contributes to the form of writing Emily Dickinson and other famous poets adopted when referring to death (Cameron 275). They all believed in life after death due to their faith in religion. The modern world has evolved and people are divided in terms of religion, race and culture. Christians have maintained their stiff belief in life after death where people are advised to be practice righteousness so that when they are in their deathbeds, God’s angels will take their souls and they will ascend to heaven. The sinners are sent to the underworld where Satan will subject them to eternal suffering. Scientists believe that the death of a person signifies the end of life both in physical and spiritual form. Most scientists and believers of science contribute to the enhancement of the science by donating their organs or the whole body after death. Egyptians and other African cultures believe in reincarnation where the body of death is restored in its usual form because a newborn in the community is believed to have risen form the dead in form of a new and young body of a child. The Indian community believes that cremation will make the dead occupy the seas and oceans after their ashes from the incinerators are spread across water bodies.


Emily Dickinson's Obsession with Death Death is a major theme in the works of Emily Dickinson. The poems of Emily Dickinson show an obsession with death.

Read in this way the poem is flawless to the last detail, each image precise anddiscrete even while it is unified in the central motif of the last journey. Yet anotherlevel of meaning has suggested itself faintly to two critics. One has described the driveras 'amorous but genteel'; the other has noted 'the subtly interfused erotic motive,' lovehaving frequently been an idea linked with death for the romantic poets. Both of theseastute guesses were made without benefit of the revealing /245/ fourth stanza, recentlyrestored from the manuscript. But even in the well-known opening lines of the poem thereare suggestive hints for anyone who remembers that the carriage drive was a standard modeof courtship a century ago. In the period of her normal social life, when Emily Dickinsontook part ill those occasions that give youthful love its chance, she frequently went ondrives with young gentlemen. Some ten years before the date of this poem, for example, shewrote to her brother: 'I've been to ride twice since I wrote you, . . . last evening withSophomore Emmons, alone'; and a few weeks later she confided to her future sister-in-law:'I've found a beautiful, new, friend.' The figure of such a prospective suitor wouldinevitably have come to the minds of a contemporary audience as they read: 'He kindlystopped for me— / The Carriage held but just Ourselves. . . .' Such a young couplelikewise would have driven beyond the village limits into the open country and then,romantically, past the 'Setting Sun.' Restraint kept her from pushing this parallel to thepoint of being ludicrous, and the suitor image quickly drops into the background.

Death In Emily Dickinson S Poetry Essay - Death In Emily Dic

On the left you will find 3 poetry books published by Emily’s family after her death. Many in the academic community feel that these books were poorly edited and are not true to Dickinson’s vision. Regardless, these are the most familiar versions for the public at large, the versions most often taught in school. We have also listed some of her more popular poems individually. In total, our Emily Dickinson collection consists of over 400 poems.