Emily Dickinson presents a delightful poem “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” where narrator speaks beyond the grave. The persona can describe the journey that she goes through with Death. The narrator is a lady who has a marriage proposal and is ready to get married to Death. They decide to go for a ride together and describe the scenery of the whole journey and reveals that she never began her real life in marriage but eternal life. Upon becoming her suitor, Death the gentleman picks her, and they go on a ride together on a horse-drawn carriage. The narrator loves her fiancé and admires how he treats her during the journey. The two lovers see children in town, the grain fields and the setting sun that give peace. The poet presents a six-stanza poem artistically with slant rhymes and full rhymes. The poem carries an imaginative approach with the central theme Death. The Death takes the form of a person who is a groom who patiently takes his lover on a journey. Therefore, the poet can captivate the reader’s mind into a world beyond time crossing over through time.
The first stanza the persona is yearning to leave the physical life and start a new life that is eternal and spiritual. The first person point of view narration invites an active mode. The poem begins when the narrator states that she could not stop death hence informing the reader of her certainty. She is impatient and waits for her fiancé so that they can unite in a new life. Initially, her life before death is temporary, and she is confident that the real life will be after getting married. Therefore, the narrator is busy with her fiancé who is death and death takes his time to perform activities beyond her capabilities. Besides, the death takes time to stop her from doing all the activities that she initially planned to do. As dusk approaches, the speaker gets chilly due to cold weather since she did not dressed up appropriately. She only has a thin coat made of silk and was not prepared for a date with Death from the morning.
Death on his part is very gentle and takes time out hence she gives up all the activities that kept her busy. The speaker says that she had to put away all her labor and leisure to enjoy a carriage ride through the city. The persona in stanza three elaborates on how she is passing through the world. She describes the children who play happily in the town and the grain fields. Also, she elaborates on the shifting world in both stanza three and four as well as describing the Sunset. However, she says that the setting Sun passes them since she is no longer active and becomes a landscape. The speaker and her fiancé Death go to their new home that is a swelling ground with a roof that is almost invisible.
Lastly, as the poem ends, the narrator comments about life or how she was waiting for her love as well as the journey or eternity. The speaker can reveal that she died centuries ago. She says that after a long time almost a century of their journey she can see all the events and activities fresh as if they just happened yesterday. When we read the last stanza, the flashbacks that the narrator gives regarding her life and the immortality aspect reveal that her journey was not an end but a riding in a carriage that requires death as a step to eternal life or afterlife.