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One Emily Dickinson poem that is widely studied for its references to death is 'Because I Could Not Stop For Death.' The poet goes on from this title phrase to add that Death 'kindly' waited for her. Many readers have commented that in this light and casual style of writing, Emily Dickinson appears to treat the idea of death with disregard and nonchalance. Nothing could be further from the truth. Indeed, in many of her other poems she speaks far more warily and thoughtfully about death, about the long approach to it and about what may lie beyond. Emily Dickinson spent much time reflecting and contemplating ideas of spirituality, so is unlikely to have written about death disrespectfully. It is more likely that she chose the nonchalant style purposefully, perhaps to illustrate the carefree attitudes we have to life - until it is 'time to stop for death.' We must reflect upon it long before that.
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