Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for death”

Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for death” and ” I heard a fly buzz when I died”, are remarkable masterpieces that exercises thought between the known and the unknown. Critics call Emily Dickinson”s poems masterpieces with strange ” haunting powers”. In Dickinson’s poems ” Because I could not stop for death” and ” I heard a fly buzz when I died” are created less than a year apart by the same poet. Both poems talk about death and the impression in the tone and symbols that exudes creativity. One might undoubtedly agree to eerie, haunting, if not frightening, tone in Dickinson’s poem.

Dickinson uses controlling adjectives-“slowly: and “passed”-to create a tone that seems rather placid. For example, “We slowly drove- He knew no haste/ … We passed the school… / We passed the setting sun,” sets a slow quiet, calm, and dreamy atmosphere (5, 9, 11, 12). “One thing that impresses us,” one author wrote, ” is the remarkable placidity, or composure, of its tone” (Greenberg 128). The tone in Dickinson”s poems will put its readers ideas on a unifying track heading towards a buggling atmosphere. Dickinson’s masterpieces lives on complex ideas that are evoked through symbols, which carry her readers through her poems.

Besides the literal significance of the “school,” Gazing Grain,” “Setting Sun,” and the “Ring” much is gathered to complete the poem’s central idea. Emily brought to light the mysteriousness of the life’s’cycle. Ungraspable to many, the cycle of one’s’life, as symbolized by Dickinson, has three stages and then a final stage of eternity. These three stages are recognized by Mary N. Shawn as follows: “School, where children strove” (9). Because it deals with an important symbol, the “Ring” this first scene is perhaps the most important .

One author noted that “the children, at recess, do not play as one would expect them to but strive” (Monteiro 20). In addition, at recess the children performed a venerable ritual, perhaps known to all, in a ring. This ritual is called “Ring-a-ring-a-roses,” and is recited: Ring-a ring-a-roses, A pocket full of posies; Hush! hush! hush! hush! We’re all tumble down. (qtd. In Greenaway 365) Monteiro made the discovery and concluded that “For indeed, imbedded in their ritualistic game is a reminder of the mortal stakes that the poet talks about elsewhere” (21).

On this invited journey, one vividly sees the “Children” playing, laughing, and singing. This scene conveys deep emotions and moods through verbal pictures. In “I heard a fly buzz when I died” Most readers would agree that this basically, poem’s narrative. What is beguiling, however, is that the frightening tone teases us into looking beyond the naturalistic details of the scene. Dickinson uses controlling adjectives “stillness” “stumbling” to create a tone that seems rather placid.

For example, “the stillness in the room/ Was like the stillness in the air/With blue, uncertain, stumbling buzz,” sets a frightening atmosphere(2, 3,13). “In this poem,” one author wrote” gothic tone relief interposes, by one of those homely inconsequence which may be observed in fact to attend even upon desperate human occasions “(Sewall 90). Examining Emily Dickinson’s poem which begins ” I heard a fly buzz when I died” in the light of the theological tradition the author was nurtured in, the reader finds a new symbolic value such as the fly.

The fly symbolizes putrefaction and decay ” I see the fly as an agent or emissary of Satan,” one author wrote, “the Satan puritans would expect to be present at death of and individual possibly or certainly damned to hell” (Hollahan 6). The first two stanzas and part of the third except for the intriguing and, in its context, somewhat quizzical first line presents death as a momentous event. Death affects others besides the dying person. “the eyes around had wrung them dry” (5). It involves the willing of property.

It entails the ritual of the deathbed and the entrance to another, and everlasting life. All of the elements of the poem lead of to the impending arrival of “the king” who is death. One author wrote, “the description of death as “the king” adds to the solemnity of the deathbed scene by suggesting pomp and circumstance, dignity, majesty and noble splendor” (Beck 31). The last thing that the speaker hears is a “blue uncertain stumbling buzz” (13). The opposite of the nice martial music associated with the entrance of the king.

The fly represents an ironic contrast to what might be called the grandiosity of public dying. With death the body functions cease and decay begins. The fly then, becomes a symbol of private as opposed to public dying. In conclusion, these poems exercises both the thoughts and emotions of its reader and can effectively change one’s viewpoint of an eternal future. Eternity and death are two important characters in Emily Dickinson’s ” Because I could not stop for death” and “I heard a fly buzz when I died” In fact eternity is a state of being.

Dickinson believed in an eternity after death. Agreeably. One can say that Emily Dickinson’s sole purpose in “Because I could not stop for death” show no fear of death and “I heard a fly buzz when I died” show a fear of death and life doesn’t exist. These two poems will leave many readers talking for years to come. These poems then, puts on immortality through an act of mere creativity. Indeed , creativity was captured at all angles in the striking piece.