Because I could not stop for Death— Questions and Answers
by Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for Death— book cover
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Briefly paraphrase the poem "Because I could not stop for Death."

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Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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With a paraphrase, one is striving to put a text into one's own words. A paraphrase is generally not shorter, by much, than the original text; in fact, it may actually be longer because, for example, when we paraphrase a poem, we generally attempt to render the figurative literal, changing metaphors to similes and so forth. A summary is typically much more brief than a paraphrase because we aren't looking to account for every detail but, rather, only the most important to the text's message or meaning. I will try to paraphrase the poem as briefly as possible, by stanza, below:

I didn't have time to wait for Death, but, like an attentive suitor, Death came for me. He picked me up in his carriage, and we traveled alone.

Death took his time driving, and I stopped everything I was doing so that I could enjoy his attentions.

We drove past a school where we saw the kids playing at recess, and we passed unharvested fields and the sunset.

Actually, the sun went past us. The night dew was...

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