Sunday, December 15, 2013

Emily Dickinson - Poetry

Emily Dickinson is another poet that I know by name but I don't really know her work.  This piece is titled 'Because I Could Not Stop for Death'.

Because I could not stop for Death-
He kindly stopped for me-
The Carriage held but just Ourselves-
And Immortality.

We slowly drove- He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility-

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess- In the Ring-
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain-
We passed the Setting Sun-

Or rather- He passed Us-
The Dews drew quivering and chill-
For only Gossamer; my Gown-
My Tippet- only Tulle-

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground-
The Roof was scarcely visible-
The Cornice- in the Ground-

Since then- 'tis Centuries- and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity.

The first two lines are very striking.  I like the thought of just being too busy for death (excuse me Death) but it not mattering because Death will take the appointment anyway.  The idea that Immortality would travel with Death is interesting.  Then, slowly, they all go on a ride that last for centuries.  I'll be honest and tell you that I don't really understand the third, fourth and fifth stanzas.
The language doesn't really do much for me.  There is the clever turn of phrase at the very beginning but that's about it.  I'm not sure why every noun is capitalized though that may simply be a style thing.  Not my favorite.

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