Emily Dickinson’s “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” and Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Night"

Topics: Poetry, Poetic form, Meter Pages: 2 (600 words) Published: September 24, 2008
Death is one of the most commonly used subjects when it comes to poetry. In both Emily Dickinson’s “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” and Robert Frost’s “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Night”, Death plays a part in the poems. Even though they are about death, both poems have their differences.

Robert Frost’s “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Night” is about a person going through the woods on horseback and stops to admire the trees. Well that doesn’t mean it’s about death. But like all poetry, you have to read it a few times too understand its full meaning. The first three stanzas do not clarify the poem is about death but the last stanza does. “But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.” Miles to go before I sleep means that the miles is how long the speaker has left to live before the final sleep of death. The promises too keep are the responsibilities he has to accomplish before he dies. What the story is really about is a guy doing what he has to do and get sidetrack by the trees in the woods and makes him think about something different in life besides his responsibilities and death. Maybe in the first few stanzas when he is looking in the woods he admires the trees and everything else because he would want his final sleep to e there somewhere he thinks is “lovely, dark and deep.”

In Emily Dickinson’s “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” the whole poem is about death. The journey to the grave begins in Stanza 1, when Death comes calling in a carriage in which Immortality is also a passenger. As the trip continues in Stanza 2, the carriage trundles along at an easy, unhurried pace, perhaps suggesting that death has arrived in the form of a disease that takes its time to kill. Then, in Stanza 3, the author appears to review the stages of her life: childhood (the recess scene), maturity (gazing grain), and the descent into death (the setting sun)–as she passes to the other side. There, she experiences a chill because she is not warmly...
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