The first lines that I’m choosing to comment on are the first stanza of the poem: “Because I could not stop for Death / He kindly stopped for me / The Carriage held but just Ourselves / And Immortality.” She is describing how you cannot control when you die. How death comes when it wants to. Carriages are meant to carry people. What could the carriage represent? These lines make me question what if we had time to stop for Death, would Death still come to us? The poem answers this question by showing us that Death will patiently wait for us if we have time for him.

Another one  of the intriguing comments was from the line: “We passed the School, where Children strove.” The children could represent the living. How there are still people that are alive. Death has not come for them yet. They are still “striving,” aka living. This poem makes me wonder why death doesn’t come for everybody? The poem does in some ways answer it. The poet says that death comes for everybody; it may not be your timing as yet, but it does come. And no one sees it coming.

The poem “Because I could not stop for Death” makes me question why death is described as a gentle and patient man while it is really a very dreadful thing. The poem answers this by the speaker being kind of ecstatic to be going to the afterlife. It seems as if the speaker was ready to pass on. “Were toward Eternity –” the last line in the poem is an example of this. At first, my idea of this poem was that the speaker didn’t want to pass on yet, that they still had things to fulfill, but it changed to the idea that the speaker wanted to pass on but never had the time to pass on, so thankfully for them, Death came along and carried the speaker toward eternity.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Questions About Emily Dickinson’s Poem #479 by Chloe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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