The Idea Of Death In Emily Dickinson And Sylvia Plath's Poetry

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Using one of the quotations below, as a starting point, explain how one of the poets we have studied this term still has relevance today - both to yourself and the wider world. “Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.” - Rita Dove.
1. John Keats still has relevance to many people today as he expresses through his poetry the fear that many people today have: the fear of failure. Although his work is hundreds of years old, the techniques he utilises in his poetry engages the reader to empathise with him about this fear and the effect that it has on their own lives, as they may be experiencing the fear themselves. When water is distilled, all impurities are removed and only the pure substance remains. Likewise, in Keats’ poem
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Emily Dickinson and Sylvia Plath both use imagery to explore the idea of death in their poetry. Dickinson’s poems “I Died For Beauty” and “Because I could not stop for death” focuses on how death should not be feared and how it can erase various ideals, while Plath’s “Tulips” highlights her suicidal thoughts. Dickinson’s poem “I Died For Beauty” predominantly employs metaphors to describe how “Truth” and “Beauty” are similar, contrary to prior beliefs that they were different, and how both of these ideals are overcome by death. Dickinson explains how death erases these ideals in addition to a person’s identity, when she states “…the Moss had reached our lips-/ And covered up – our names – .” The metaphorical usage of the “Moss” preventing Truth and Beauty’s ability to speak signifies that these ideals can be silenced by death. Plath presents a more melancholy perspective of death in her poem “Tulips”, where she wishes to die and “lie with… hands turned up and be utterly empty.” She metaphorically describes herself as “a thirty-year-old cargo boat stubbornly hanging on to my name and address” to reveal how she feels like a different person than the details which identify her, and how she wishes to “efface” herself from the life that she lives. These images alert the reader to the depression that Plath feels and her perspective on what death could bring for her. In “Because I could not stop for death”, Dickinson uses personification to explain how death is not evil, but is similar to a friendly chaperone who is there to guide one through the paths of the afterlife. She describes how death and she travelled in a “carriage,” likening a personified death to a friendly chaperone who is taking her on her last journey. Additionally, she states that death has “Civility” and that death “kindly stopped” for her, giving death amiable human characteristics while explaining how death does not wish anyone harm by terminating their life. Similarly, Plath, like Dickinson, is not

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