Death Theme In Poetry

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Death in Poetry

Death is a very common theme among those who write poetry. Poetry is a way that allows people to express their true feelings in a comfortable way to share with the world. The poems “Because I could not stop for death” by Emily Dickinson and “Death Be Not Proud” by John Donne are reflective of this theme. Although they are very different poems, they both revolve around the central theme of death. Dickinson’s poem is about her journey through life and her outlook on it. Donne’s poem is about how death shouldn’t be proud of what it does to people and how to overlook it. Both of these poems are very similar in many ways. The most related would be that the poems have the theme of death. They are both about how the authors’ views
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First is Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for death”. The poem is about Emily’s journey through life and all of her experiences. She refers to the driver of the carriage as death. She says that he stopped kindly for her. This comes with surprise, too, since death is more often considered grim and terrible (Glenn 1). Here I believe that she is trying to show that death is not as bad as everyone makes it out to be. When Dickinson says that they are driving slowly, it shows that she lived a long life and didn’t rush through it. She is taken past a school, a field of grain, and a setting sun to show where she has been throughout her life. Each of these represents a phase in her life. The school being her childhood, the field of grain being her adulthood, and the setting sun as the end of her life. At the end of the poem, she sees the horses’ heads and says that they are going towards eternity. The speaker only guesses ("surmised") that they are heading for eternity (“Emily” 1). All of these examples reinforce the theme that life is a journey that death takes one on. Death is along with people throughout his/her entire life. He is the one who is driving him/her to their grave and I feel that is what Dickinson is saying in this …show more content…
Donne is saying that death should not be proud that is it taking the lives of people. Donne’s theme tells the reader that death has no right to be proud, since human beings do not die but live eternally after “one short sleep” (Cummings 1). He says that death is not as powerful and scary as people make it out to be and should not be afraid of it. John also says that death can be compared to poison, war, and sickness because all of them try to bring people down and kill. In line 13 he says that one short sleep past and we wake eternally. This means that after death occurs, one will wake up to a life of eternity. The next line says that death shall be no more and will be dead. Death reduced to a short sleep, after which he shall wake eternally and find that Death itself has died (Morris 1). In this poem, Donne uses a metaphor that compares death to a slave in the line “Thou art slave to Fate”. Personally this tells me that death depends on variables from someone’s life such as any accidents, diseases and if that person is in war. I think the theme that Donne wants readers to take away from this poem is that death is not as scary and powerful as many make it. People should not be afraid of death because after it one will live eternally. He views death as just a short sleep and after one wakes up from the sleep death itself will die and people will be able to continue

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