On because I could not stop for death

Essay by crystallijingF, March 2004

download word file, 6 pages 3.5

Abstract: Death and eternity are the major themes in most of Emily Dickinson's

poems." Because I could not stop for death "is one of her classic poems.

Through the analysis, this essay clarifies infinite conceptions by the

dialectical relationship between reality and imagination, the known and

the unknown. And it tells what's eternity in Dickson's eyes.

Keywords: death, eternity, finite, infinite


Emily Dickinson£¨1830-1886£©, the American best-known female poet £¬was

one of the foremost authors in American literature. Emily Dickinson 's

poems, as well as Walt Whitman's, were considered as a part of "American

renaissance"; they were regarded as pioneers of imagism. Both of them rejected

custom and received wisdom and experimented with poetic style. She however

differs from Whitman in a variety of ways. For one thing, Whitman seems

to keep his eye on society at large; Dickinson explores the inner life

of the individual. Whereas Whitman is "national" in his outlook, Dickinson

is "regional"

Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, on December 10,1830.

She lived almost her entire life in the same town (much of it in the same

house), traveled infrequently, never married, and in her last years never

left the grounds of her family. So she was called "vestal of Amherst".

And yet despite this narrow -- some might say -- pathologically constricted-outward

experience, she was an extremely intelligent, highly sensitive, and deeply

passionate person who throughout her adult life wrote poems (add up to

around 2000 ) that were startlingly original in both content and technique,

poems that would profoundly influence several generations of American poets

and that would win her a secure position as one of the greatest poets that

America has ever produced.

Dickinson's simply constructed yet intensely felt, acutely intellectual

writings take as their subject issues vital to humanity: the...