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Marthaline Cooper

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Marthaline Cooper

Mrs. Leclerc

Poetry Assignment

Emily Dickinson lived a life secluded from society; this seclusion is what allowed her to write freely without judgment from the strict society she lived in. Dickinson wrote her poems in a very complex manner for excample, she often ignored traditional rules of grammar. Dickinson had an obsession with death. Rhyme scheme and figurative language was her way of getting her point across to readers. In one of her poems "Because I could not stop for Death" Dickinson creates a sort of casual relationship between the narrator and Death. Whenever Dickision talks about death in her poetry (which is often) it's always portrayed as a calming matter because to her, death is not something to be afraid of. Her death poems always have a calming tone as portrayed in "The last night that she lived".

Like many of her poems, "The Last Night that She Lived" contains Dickinson's exploration of dying and human emotion. Rather than romanticizing death, Dickinson utilizes death as a simple process in human life. Before the reader can even begin the peom, the title foreshadows that this isn't going to have a happy ending. In the beginning of the poem the speaker has very peaceful tone that was also remorseful. In the first and second stanza, the narrator spoke as if he or she was having a sudden epiphany, as they realized that these were the final moments of this dying woman. In line (5 )of the second stanza the speaker says "We noticed the smallest things, things overlooked before" The death of the lady made them become more aware of everything, meaning that they began to look at life with a different prospective. As the poem progresses, there is a sudden shift in tone. This shift starts to occur in the third stanza of the poem. The speaker seems to be upset that the other patients in the nearby rooms would have the chance to live and see another day, while her loved one was dying. Lines (9-16) show the readers how upset the narrator as in line (15-16) as Dickinson writes "A jealousy for her arose so nearly infinite", the speaker is filled with so much jealously that the other patients get to live.

Dickinson makes another shift in tone in the fifth stanza. The speaker's mood changes from one of anger and jealous to a feeling of fear. As the speaker and her family await the final news of their loved one death, they feel a sense of fear and nervousness; because even though they knew that she was eventually going to pass away, they weren't ready to come to terms with it. In the third stanza the speaker and the family eventually come to terms with the death and the idea that their loved one is truly gone. Their acceptance of her death brings a sense of comfort to the poem. In the poem (lines24-28) the speaker says "And we, we placed the hair and drew the head erect, and then an awful leisure was belief to regulate". The first two lines showed the witnesses of the woman's death, it clues the reader in that it's not only the speaker that has to carry the burden of this woman death. The last two lines, seem much more complex, The characters in the poem who witnessed the death, as shown in previous stanzas, found her passing as an experience unlike any other, they had experienced the evolvement of life to death which is one of nature's biggest mystery, which few people have the privilege to see. The witnesses clearly found the experience depressingly intriguing, unlike others, for obvious reasons. To hide their optimistic feelings and intuitions Dickinson uses an oxymoron in line 3 of the last stanza "awful leisure". Like in many of her poems, Dickinson used lots of grammatical errors. She would capitalize words when they shouldn't be; her reason for that I'd like to believe was to add emphasis to the particular word or phrase.

In the second poem I chose that was written by Dickinson "Because I could not stop for Death" Death is personified as a gentleman. In the first stanza, the speaker

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