Because I could not stop for Death by Emily Dickinson

Because I Could Not Stop for Death is a popular poem by Emily Dickinson that explores the themes of death and the journey into the afterlife. Born on December 10, 1830, in Amherst, Massachusetts, Emily Dickinson was an enigmatic and renowned American poet known for her unique style and deep insights into life, death, and nature. In the poem Because I Could Not Stop for Death, death is personified as a chivalrous gentleman who arrives suddenly to take the speaker on a carriage ride towards eternity.

Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility –

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –

Or rather – He passed Us –
The Dews drew quivering and Chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown –
My Tippet – only Tulle –

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground –

Since then – ’tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses’ Heads
Were toward Eternity –