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7/17/2019

Emily Dickinson as a poet of Death.


Dickinson is a great poet of death. Death is her principal subject, and even a modest selection of her poems proves this fact.Death is related to the question of the immortality of soul, and of religion. Such of her poems can be divided into four categories: (1) those on death as possible extinction, (2) those dramatizing the question whether the soul survives death, (3) those asserting a firm faith in immortality, and (4) those directly treating God's concern with people's lives and destinies.

Dickinson meditates on death in many of her poems. She describes death by its external appearance in some of her poems while in some others she imagines her own death, and so has imaginative experiences while dying. In all cases her account of death is characterized by deep psychological insight and imaginative
power. She believes that immortality of the soul can be achieved through dissolution, decay and death of the body. Death is the gateway to the Divine and to immortality, so death should be welcomed rather than shunned. But that is not always the case. Sometimes  she regards death as the end of all earthly things, and the consequence of death is the merging of the elements of human body with the elements of Nature.

However, Dickinson's view on death is unconventional, deeply personal, and refreshingly original. To her, death is a kind of life which is new, and life as it is lived here is a sort of death, she says:

A death-blow is a life-blow to some
Who, till they died, did not alive become.

Death is always related with.onality. She believes that death is not dreadful. It is a medium t rough which one can escape the trials and tribulations of the world. She also regards death as a road to after-life. When the journey of this life ends we are brought "to that odd Fork in Beings Road. Eternity—by term". We find the celestial city of Eternity.

Death is also looked upon as a pilot by Dickinson. "On this Wondrous Sea" shows how the pilot leads the human soul to the shore of eternity through the sea of life. The sea is conceived as a silent one, where no breakers roar, and the storm is over.

In some poems Dickinson views death objectively as an event that happens to somebody else. 'She sees the physical shape of death in all its ugliness and fright, and responds to it not as a philosophical
riddle, but as a physical reality. In the poem "The Last Night that She Lived", "She" died while others waited. There came upon them an
awful leisure -which regulated their faith.

In the oem "I Died for Beauty, But was Scarce," she imagines herself death and talks about her short life in the grave. "l Heard a Buzz Fly describes how the poet imagines that she is going to die. Just then a blue fly appears between the light and the dying poet. A tension is indicated here—a tension between her desire to live and her helplessness before death.

Thus we find Dickinson has explored different aspects of death. She is indeed an eminent poet of death.

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