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January 20 2000 Word count 708 Because I Could Not Stop for Death For as long as history has been recorded and probably for much longer manhas always been at odds with the idea of his own death Even those of us whohave accepted death graciously have at least in some way --- feared dreaded orattempted to delay its arrival We have personified death-- as an evildoer dressedin all black its presence swoops down upon us and chokes the life from us asthough it were some street murder with malicious intent But in reality weknow that death is not the chaotic grim reaper of fairy tales and mythologyRather than being a cruel and unfair prankster of evil death is an unavoidable In recent centuries poets have spent a great deal of their time writing ofdeath and inevitably -- both as a figure of admiration and one of questionableconcern In her classic poem entitled Because I Could Not Stop for DeathEmily Dickinson realizes that to escape death is impossible and she shows that itneed not be painful therefore the poem maintains a serene tone throughoutAlthough not necessarily depicted as a sadistic murderer of innocence death isindeed personified by Dickinson to a certain extent-- as an unavoidableconqueror-- one hanging over us and around us-- inescapable The first line tells us exactly what were reading about and what we canexpect There is no gradual build-up to the main point as is the case with theworks of some other poets Instead there is merely a progression of explanationMany years beyond the grave the narrator portrays the placid process of herpassing in which Dealth is
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