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Since the dawn of time death has been one of the greatest mysteries known to humankind It has been anticipated mourned feared welcomed loathed induced and through the poetry of Emily Dickinson death has almost been explained Dickinsons death-related poetic compositions reflect a metamorphosis of style and thought that distinguish her earlier work from that of her two later periods and provide a means of understanding the mindset of the quasi-necrophobic poet as well as an insight to the nature of death Dickinsons dynamic utilization of personification metaphor and euphemism is a key element in fully comprehending both her maturing poetic influences on the human perception of death and her fear of relinquishing her life to an unknown eternity Critics have extensively categorized the poetry of Emily Dickinson since her work was first published post-mortem in 1890 but the categorizations of her compositions especially those describing death differ significantly among the literary minds responsible for creating the distinctions Both the chronological and stylistic divisions of Dickinsons death poetry serve as guidelines to mapping the evolution of her psyche which is necessary to understanding her varied views of death In general her death poems are divided into time periods or by subject description with some categories containing subdivisions of the primary theme Of these groupings the one that is most vital to understanding the maturation of Dickinsons thought in respect to the human perception of death is the time period division The chronological category consists of three time periods each of which contain poems that exhibit certain common characteristics of Dickinsons particular style The first interval of death poetry consists of Dickinsons 215 works composed prior to 1861 The work of this period has often been labeled more of a reflection in verse than it is a presentation of ideas through concrete images and has lacked the intensity and sense of urgency that is so characteristic of her later work Ford 69 Additionally Thomas W Ford
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