Emily Dickinson

(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886 / Amherst / Massachusetts)

Because I Could Not Stop For Death - Poem by Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for Death-
He kindly stopped for me-
The Carriage held but just Ourselves-
And Immortality.

We slowly drove- He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility-

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess- in the Ring-
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain-
We passed the Setting Sun-

Or rather- He passed us-
The Dews drew quivering and chill-
For only Gossamer, my Gown-
My Tippet- only Tulle-

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground-
The Roof was scarcely visible-
The Cornice- in the Ground-

Since then- 'tis Centuries- and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity-

Form: Elegy

Comments about Because I Could Not Stop For Death by Emily Dickinson

  • Sandra N Sneed (10/15/2017 3:24:00 PM)

    I found this poem to be very intriguing because of the manner in which Dickinson describes an experience with the grim reaper or death. (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Nivy Sochi (10/15/2017 1:06:00 PM)

    The first two lines caught me. (Report) Reply

  • (6/23/2017 7:52:00 PM)

    So amazing. great poem (Report) Reply

  • Njuguna Peter Mnyagia (1/20/2017 7:38:00 AM)

    amazing poem.......................................... (Report) Reply

  • Allan james Saywell (3/26/2016 9:58:00 PM)

    This poem was the poem that inspired me to write my first poem I was thirty five years old
    I owe her everything, she lit the flame, that shone the light

    Allan James Saywell
    (Report) Reply

  • Amar Agarwala (12/16/2015 9:16:00 AM)

    One of the best poems ever read by me. (Report) Reply

  • Estefany Mejia (8/21/2015 7:18:00 PM)

    i read this poem at school. (Report) Reply

  • (7/15/2015 6:09:00 AM)

    very emotional. nice poem. (Report) Reply

  • Thabani Khumalo (6/16/2015 8:48:00 AM)

    I have a vision to write like this, only if god would bless me enough (Report) Reply

  • Briony Nicholls (6/14/2015 8:35:00 AM)

    Like whenever I have read this poem in the past, as now, I feel goosebumps. It has a chilling gothic style to it. One feels like they're already part of the Immortalised dead where scenes of life preceding death are like distant dreams. I feel like someone's walked over my grave whenever I read this poem! (Report) Reply

  • Gaurangi Sharma (6/11/2015 7:18:00 AM)

    marvellous poem...a deep thought! (Report) Reply

  • (12/23/2014 5:03:00 PM)

    ...............wow this is a very imaginative and creative write....would love to see this as a movie at the theatre... (Report) Reply

  • (12/7/2014 7:35:00 PM)

    She is courting Death, he is her suitor and she happily goes with him into eternity. She belongs with him, she felt comfortable with the presence of death; he is unescapable. (Report) Reply

  • Ishita Chakrabarty (8/14/2014 2:22:00 PM)

    Love this poem. Death has been portrayed in a servile form awaiting our arrival. The way the author retells about the various stages of one's lives drift across while she is seated with death..amazing. (Report) Reply

  • (1/9/2014 11:04:00 AM)

    She found immortality and so too her poems. (Report) Reply

  • Man Bahadur Gharti (5/2/2012 5:06:00 AM)

    Theme of Transcendentalism; transcendent from the mortal world to immortal world. beautiful (Report) Reply

  • (4/4/2012 8:46:00 AM)

    I have just discovered this stunning poem from the autobiography of the composer, John Adams. He chose it to follow John Donne's 'Negative Love' as the text for his work 'Harmonium' followed by another of her poems: Wild Nights'. He writes excitingly about the composition and first performance in 1981. (Report) Reply

  • (2/2/2012 2:29:00 PM)

    I find this poem ironic about the poet.
    She never left her house in ages.
    I knew what that was like.
    (Report) Reply

  • Caitlin Daniel (3/3/2010 5:51:00 PM)

    I'm not going to lie.. I read this on a test in school yesterday. I never would have found this if it weren't for my teacher. I love how deah is personified and how she was about 14 when her 2nd or 1st cousin died. Also the fact that she was thought of as strange because she always wore white. WOW, can you think of anyone who is/was more obsessed with death? Scary that I know alot about her and I haven't even read her bio. What's funny is the fact that I'm just about to be in 9th grade..haha (Report) Reply

  • Amy Marie (1/31/2010 6:59:00 PM)

    I love the creativity of the personification in this poem ;) (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: school, house, children, death, sun, horse, child

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003

Poem Edited: Tuesday, August 18, 2015

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