woman in repose floating through the air surrounded by ghosts

Because I could not stop for Death—

by Emily Dickinson

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What elements in the poem "Because I could not stop for Death—" do you find interesting?

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The extended metaphor of Death as a gentleman is almost appealing to readers in Dickinson's "tragic vision" of the human predicament in which people are summoned to a mysterious repose. It is interesting in the fourth stanza that Dickinson rhymes "Ground" with itself in lines 18 and 20.

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I agree that it is the image of Death as a gentleman which is most striking about this poem. He comes to her instead of making her come to him, and then he makes sure she has the opportunity to review her life before he takes her to her final resting place. There is nothing violent or jarring about her transport from life to death; it is a seamless transition and Death is nothing to be afraid of in the process. 

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I find it particularly interesting that death is personified as a kindly man who stops to give the speaker a ride in what I take to be a horse-drawn buggy. I don't feel that the speaker is actually dead but is so busily engaged with mundane matters that she never stops to think about the fact that she is going to have to die someday. In this respect she is like most of us. I like the suggestion that the speaker realizes that dying is like being taken for a long and pleasant ride and that there is nothing to fear because the destination is immortality. This is a very simple poem, written in Emily Dickinson's characteristic "common meter," but it deals with a matter of the utmost importance and has great spiritual and emotional depth.

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