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Poetry as a Way Out

Uploaded by PeachiKiwi on Apr 21, 2001

People who write poetry do so for various reasons. They write to express such things as anger, fear, happiness, and the unknown. Whether it is to have a hobby, do something for leisure time, or to express one’s feelings, everyone has their own motive.

The later years of Dickinson’s life were primarily spent in mourning because of several deaths within the time frame of a few years. Emily’s father died in 1874, her nephew Gilbert died in 1883, and both Charles Wadsworth (Emily’s lover) and Emily’s mother died in 1882. Over those years, many of the most influential and precious friendships of Emily’s passed away, and that gave way to the more concentrated obsession with death in her poetry.

As a result of Emily Dickinson’s life of solitude, she was able to focus on her world more sharply than other authors of her time —contemporary authors who had no effect on her writing. Emily was original and innovative in her poetry. Many of her poems were completed and written on scraps of paper, such as old grocery lists. Eventually when her poetry was published, they were grouped into classes— friends, nature, love, and death. (Black) Many of Emily Dickinson’s poems that were written about death reflect on how she felt about it and how it was an influence in her life.

Because death was occurring so often in the life of Emily Dickinson, I have chosen to write about the influence of it in her poetry. Two poems in which have been found, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” and “The Bustle in a House”, can be associated with each other by one of the aforementioned categories: death.

In the poem, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death,” Dickinson personifies death as a kind person that takes care of people:

Because I could not stop for Death-
He kindly stopped for me-

We slowly drove- He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure took
For His Civility- (Dickinson 5-8).

She also describes several scenes on her voyage throughout death:

We passed the School, where Children
At Recess- in the Ring-
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain-
We passed the Setting Sun- (9-12).

These scenes reveal that Emily Dickinson’s attitude towards death is not scary; it is a slow and peaceful process that can be compared to that of passing a group...

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Uploaded by:   PeachiKiwi

Date:   04/21/2001

Category:   Poetry

Length:   3 pages (644 words)

Views:   1712

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