Because I Could Not Stop for Death


Emily Dickinson's most celebrated masterwork, Because I Could Not Stop for Death is often taught in high school grades 11-12, where imperfectly rhyming quatrains, symbols, imagery, and wordplay abound!

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 labour, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school where children played,
Their lessons scarcely done;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.

Because I Could Not Stop for Death was featured as The Short Story of the Day on Sun, Jan 01, 2012


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