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Word Count: 588
A Unique Personification - Emily Dickinson Poem 712For generations children have been taught to see Death as the Grim Reaper A figure clothed in dark robes holding a gleaming scythe in one hand and beckoning with the alabaster bone of another Death has become something to be universally feared Perhaps that is why Emily Dickinsons poem 712 Because I Could Not Stop for Death is so unique and so touching Although a constant theme of her work this poem stands out as the use of a variety of poetic and especially prosodic devices serve to portray Death in an entirely new more genteel light The first and most striking aspect of Dickinsons work is her personification of death as a gentleman Lines one and two set the tone for the entire poem Because I could not stop for Death - He kindly stopped for me Her succinct diction in that statement and more particularly the use of the word kindly immediately conveys the image of Death she is seeing This conceit is furthered by the later statement that He knew no haste stanza 2 line 1 a direct contradiction of the typical and decisive cutting of the strings of fate or of the sudden whisking away that is a more commonplace description of Death coming to call Instead without any sense of urgency she is given the chance to put her affairs in order because of his Civility stanza 2 line 4 With this image solidified in the minds of her readers Dickinsons use of other devices in order to continue to convey her theme and tone become more apparent and more strikingThe meter and rhyme throughout the piece are an example of her manipulation of prosodic devices in order to enhance the tone of the writing and bring out the intended theme Instead of the obvious and elementary use of perfect end rhyme slant rhyme is used In doing so the
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