Emily Dickinson vs John Donne

1163 Words5 Pages
Ellen Barker Dr. Kobeleva English 1102 October 20, 2010 Two Poems Concerning Death: Dickinson vs. Donne Death has been a popular topic discussed for many centuries because people want to know what happens to someone when they die. Emily Dickinson’s “Because I Could Not Stop For Death” and John Donne’s “Death Be Not Proud” are two classic poems written in two different centuries that personifies death but take the readers on two different journeys to conclude to the same theme. Donne’s poem was written sometime between 1601 and 1610; whereas, Dickinson’s poem was written in 1863, which proves that the topic of death has been discussed, especially in literature, throughout many centuries. Both poems personify death to reveal the central meaning of their poem, but they personify death differently. The central meaning of both poems is death should not be feared for there is eternal life after this life. Dickinson chooses to personify death and compare it to how great eternity is to reveal the theme. Donne personifies death to lower it down and show that death has no power. Analyzing the two poems by each stanza or line enables readers to more clearly understand the message the poet is giving. In Dickinson’s poem the first stanza compares dying to taking a carriage ride with a suitor. Death and immortality are personified. Death is a metaphor to a suitor. The speaker realizes that she is going to have to go with death and finds that immortality comes with them. The second stanza implies that death is a slow process and chooses its own pace. In order for the speaker to see death as a pleasant thing, she has to let go of her life and give in to his will. The third stanza includes many symbols. The “school” represents the morning of life, which is the speaker’s childhood. The “fields of gazing grain” represents the midday of life, which is her working years. The

More about Emily Dickinson vs John Donne

Open Document