Emily Dickinson's poem 712, also known as "Because I Could Not Stop for Death," is a haunting and thought-provoking piece that meditates on the experience of death and the nature of the afterlife. The speaker in the poem is a person who has died and is being transported by Death, personified as a gentleman, to the next life.
The poem begins with the speaker acknowledging that Death had stopped by to pick her up in a carriage, and she notes that she had "put away" her "labor and leisure too" in order to go with him. This line suggests that the speaker is resigned to her fate and is ready to leave behind the distractions and obligations of her mortal life.
As the carriage rides on, the speaker observes the passing of the seasons and the passing of time. She notes that she "pass[es] the School, where Children strove / At Recess," and she sees "Fields of Gazing Grain" and "Hills of Herbaceous Tuft," which suggest the cycle of life and the passing of the seasons. The speaker also notes that she sees "the Setting Sun," which may symbolize the end of her life.
The final stanza of the poem reveals that the speaker has arrived at her final destination, which is "Immortality." She notes that she has arrived at this place "Because I could not stop for Death," implying that her journey with Death was inevitable and that she had no choice but to accept it.
Overall, Dickinson's poem 712 is a poignant and meditative exploration of death and the afterlife. Through the use of personification and imagery, the poem invites the reader to consider their own mortality and to reflect on the nature of the journey beyond this life.
Emily Dickinson “712”
But unlike their Puritan predecessors, the members of this generation moved with greater freedom between the latter two categories. By 1860 Dickinson had written more than 150 poems. She leaves her worries behind and glimpses, through the window as she passes, children at play and the beauties of nature—scenes of peace and comfort. The speaker of the poem is an individual who clearly does not have time to die; she must be stopped by Death himself, because she "could not stop" for him. She exhibits one of the permanent relations between personality and objective truth, and she deserves the special attention of our time, which lacks that kind of truth. Its almost as if she was headed for death but it was just a matter of time before she arrived.
What are the identifiable aspects of the Romantic literary movement in Emily Dickinson's poem #712 (also known as "Because I could not stop for...
Though there is no direct allusion to God, there is an allusion to the horsemen of the apocalypse. The two elements of her style, considered as point of view, are immortality, or the idea of permanence, and the physical process of death or decay. After looking quickly at some of her other works of art, death plays a big part in the other poems too. It comes out of an intellectual life towards which it feels no moral responsibility. The resolution lies in suggesting death is not the end—eternity awaits as a timeless entity to give meaning to mortal experience. Johnson, Emily Dickinson: An Interpretive Biography Cambridge, Mass.
I believe that setting takes place in a vehicle, possibly in a horse. Her own stated ambitions are cryptic and contradictory. But in other places her description of her father is quite different the individual too busy with his law practice to notice what occurred at home. I hope you will, if you have not, it would be such a treasure to you. It is this verbal conflict that gives to her verse its high tension; it is not a device deliberately seized upon, but a feeling for language that senses out the two fundamental components of English and their metaphysical relation: the Latin for ideas and the Saxon for perceptions—the peculiar virtue of English as a poetic tongue. Nina Baym and Robert S. Infallibly, at her best; for no poet has ever been perfect, nor is Emily Dickinson.
Allen Tate: On 712 ("Because I could not stop for Death")
Written by Almira H. One thing you pointed out that I failed to notice was that the poem started light but then became dark half way. I also wanted to add another interesting observation I had. Bowles was chief editor of the Springfield Republican;Holland joined him in those duties in 1850. There were to be no pieties between them, and when she detected his own reliance on conventional wisdom, she used her language to challenge what he had left unquestioned. Lincoln, Familiar Lectures on Botany 1829 featured a particular kind of natural history, emphasizing the religious nature of scientific study. She did not make the same kind of close friends as she had at Amherst Academy, but her reports on the daily routine suggest that she was fully a part of the activities of the school.
In 1850-1851 there had been some minor argument, perhaps about religion. They returned periodically to Amherst to visit their older married sister, Harriet Gilbert Cutler. Her poems followed both the cadence and the rhythm of the hymn form she adopted. Lacking the letters written to Dickinson, readers cannot know whether the language of her friends matched her own, but the freedom with which Dickinson wrote to Humphrey and to Fowler suggests that their own responses encouraged hers. If he borrowed his ideas, he failed her test of character.
In studying the content of the poem, Dickinson is inspired to present Death as a suitor, one who woos for love: He kindly stopped for me —. What is significant about the sun passing the carriage in the fourth stanza? One cannot say directly what is; essence remains unnamed and unnameable. In the following poem, the hymn meter is respected until the last line. Among these were Abiah Root, Abby Wood, and Emily Fowler. . She attended an all-female college in her birth town, but her life changed after her cousin passed away.
He is a gentleman taking a lady out for a drive. But note the restraint that keeps the poet from carrying this so far that it is ludicrous and incredible; and note the subtly interfused erotic motive, which the idea of death has presented to every romantic poet, love being a symbol interchangeable with death. The school prided itself on its connection with Amherst College, offering students regular attendance at college lectures in all the principal subjects— astronomy, botany, chemistry, geology, mathematics, natural history, natural philosophy, and zoology. Their number was growing. In each she hoped to find an answering spirit, and from each she settled on different conclusions.
Read these lines from Emily Dickinson’s poem “712” (“Because I could not stop for death”): Because I
Be sure to review your reading notes. The Dickinson household was memorably affected. Ezell and Katherine O'Keeffe Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994 , pp. The students looked to each other for their discussions, grew accustomed to thinking in terms of their identity as scholars, and faced a marked change when they left school. Say He kindly stopped for me -these lines aloud and note the syllables, you'll hear the feet! Though Mabel Loomis Todd and Higginson published the first selection of her poems in 1890, a complete volume did not appear until 1955. Johnson and Ward, Harvard University Press, 1958. Dickinson actually make death a comic event.