Because I Could Not Stop For Death
Because I could not stop for Death-
He kindly stopped for me-
The Carriage held but just Ourselves-
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-
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About Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, MA, in 1830, the daughter of state and federal politician Edward Dickinson. A prolific poet, Dickinson was known to draft poems on the backs of envelopes and chocolate wrappers. Nearly 1800 of her poems were discovered by her family following her death, many in 40 handbound volumes she had sewn together, written in her own hand with her famously unorthodox punctuation.
The enigmatic poet is remembered as a recluse, rarely leaving the Dickinson estate. While she did receive callers at her home, conversations were often held from opposite sides of a closed door.
She lived with her sister, Lavinia, while her brother Austin and his wife, Susan Gilbert, lived down a narrow path on the property. Her writing reflects profound loneliness as well as a deep capacity for love and affection, much of which is believed to have been shared with Gilbert.
Like Walt Whitman (who she reportedly never read), she is considered one of the most influential poets in the emergence of a distinctly American poetic voice.
She was born on December 10, 1830, and today visitors to Emily Dickinson’s grave can witness a lasting image of her perspective on life. The etching on her stone marking the date of her death—May 15, 1886—bears the words “Called Back.”