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What are all the poetic techniques/devices used in the poem "Because I could not stop...

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orasl1 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 20, 2011 at 9:08 PM via web

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What are all the poetic techniques/devices used in the poem "Because I could not stop for death" by Emily Dickinson?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted August 20, 2011 at 9:31 PM (Answer #1)

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There are many poetic devices used in Dickinson's poem "Because I could not stop for Death."

First, personification is used. Personification is the giving of non-human/non-living things human characteristics and qualities.In the first line, 'Death' is capitalized. what this means is Dickinson is giving Death a proper name-like a human.The same goes for 'Immortality' at the end of the stanza. Not only is Death named, he/she is given the ability to kindly stop for the speaker. Death cannot be, literally, kind or make the choice to stop for anyone. This is another example of personification.

Alliteration is also used in the poem. Alliteration is the repetition of a consonant sound within a single line of poetry. This happens in the second, third, fourth, and sixth stanza. The use of the combined words in the lines holding the following pairings denote alliteration: labor/leisure, recess/ring, gazing/grain, setting/sun, gossamer/gown, tippet/tulle, and horses'/ heads.


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