Because I could not stop for Death was a poem written by a famous poet well known to some named Emily Dickson. This poem withheld a thought provoking and profound meaning of how the poet Emily, has calmly given an acceptance to her death. This piece is appropriately considered poetry, for the simple and obvious way that Emily utilized some key poetic devices within her poem. In the poem, Because I could not stop for Death, Emily uses the poetic devices: personification, alliteration, and metaphor in order to introduce the theme to the reader and to signify the overall importance behind it.
The focal theme of the poem was merely about how death should not be feared and that it should be accepted since it is a part of the cycle of life. Emily believes that death is not at all painful as it is portrayed in this poem, instead she believes that death is a peaceful and more satisfying occurrence for her. As Dickinson describes how death has taken her away from the world at the beginning part of her stanza she was able to incorporate her first poetic device, personification.
Emily uses personification to describe death in the shape of a gentleman or a fellow traveler who gets to claim her soul away and to drive her off in a carriage as she says, “Because I could not stop for Death – He kindly stopped for me – The Carriage held but just Ourselves – And Immortality” (lines 1-4). The speaker of the poem depicts how death has taken her on a pleasant and calm carriage ride and so happens to bring along a supervisor which is described as Immorality.
In this case death is embodied in a pleasant way and not conveyed as being evil nor harsh. Alliteration was a sound device utilized in Because I could not stop for Death to help convey Dickinson’s message to the reader and to make clear about what her theme’s purpose was. She incorporated many alliteration devices throughout her poem, one of the very few examples of alliteration that was used occurs in the fourth stanza and states, Or rather – He passed Us
The Dews drew quivering and chill For only Gossamer, my Gown My Tippet – only Tulle (13–16). The consonant sounds that were obvious in closeness within this poem were the central words, dews and drew, gossamer and gown as well as tippet and tulle. The use of these alliteration devices makes this piece qualify as being a poem. Metaphor was another poetic device used to convey a connection between a person and death within the poem.
Dickson utilizes metaphor in the beginning stanza of her poem by stating “The carriage held but just Ourselves/ And Immortality” (3-4). The carriage was not of a real carriage, but was used as a metaphor for a journey of life that ends with death and as a transition from the current world to the spiritual world. A great example of metaphor that was also incorporated into the poem was of the second to last stanza, We passed before a House that seemed A swelling of the Ground The Roof was scarcely visible The Cornice – in the Ground (17-20).
Dickson uses the house as a representation of a tombstone since she states that it is nestled into the ground, which is metaphorically in reference to a tombstone and also a domestic dwelling place for souls to be at rest and to live on forever in the afterlife. The message displayed in Emily Dickson’s Because I could not stop for Death was very clear that she wanted her readers to have an open mind about death and to have it not be viewed as something horrific, but should be seen as a beautiful and blissful beginning of new life in the spiritual world.
Dickson believes that death is a natural part of life that happens to everyone so she accepts death as being her last cycle of life and believes that it is a peaceful occurrence for her. To understand Dickson’s theme of the poem I was able to pinpoint her successful usage of the poetic devices: personification, alliteration, and metaphor to be able to grasp the deep message that she wants the reader to acknowledge. Between the poetic devices used, the stanza styled structure and the overall theme makes me believe as a reader that the poem is in no doubt a valid piece of poetry.