An Insight Into Dickinson's Portrayal of Death

2159 words 9 pages
An Insight into Dickinson's Portrayal of Death

Pale Death with impartial tread beats at the poor man's cottage door and at the palaces of kings. Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus, 65-8 B.C.)

Throughout the history of literature, it has often been said that "the poet is the poetry" (Tate, Reactionary 9); that a poet's life and experiences greatly influence the style and the content of their writing, some more than others. Emily Dickinson is one of the most renowned poets of her time, recognized for the amount of genuine, emotional insight into life, death, and love she was able to show through her poetry. Many believe her lifestyle and solitude brought her to that point in her writing. During Emily Dickinson's life, she
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One might undoubtedly agree to an eerie, haunting, if not frightening, tone in Dickinson's poem. Dickinson uses controlling adjectives—"slowly" and "passed"—to create a tone that seems rather placid. For example, "We slowly drove—He knew no haste / …We passed the School … / We passed the Setting Sun—," sets a slow, quiet, calm, and dreamy atmosphere . "One thing that impresses us," one author wrote, "is the remarkable placidity, or composure, of its tone" (Greenberg). The tone in Dickinson's poem will put its readers' ideas on a unifying track heading towards a boggling atmosphere. Dickinson's masterpiece lives on complex ideas that are evoked through symbols, which carry her readers through her poem. In this poem, the author indicates that Death is a kindly gentleman who stops by to escort her into her afterlife.
Because I could not stop for Death-
He kindly stopped for me-
She describes her slow ride towards what she deems to be eternity I first surmised the Horses Heads / Were toward Eternity- But, as the poem goes on, she realizes the truth and inevitability of death. Her thoughts grow deep and in the third stanza, she realizes that her life is flashing past her eyes. She sees children playing at school, fields of Gazing Grain and the Setting Sun. Emily brought to light the mysteriousness of life's cycle.