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Because I could not stop for Death by Emily Dickinson [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2014-8-11 10:57:11 |Display all floors
This post was edited by liu5222512 at 2014-8-11 10:57

Because I could not stop for Death
by Emily Dickinson

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 grew quivering and chill,
For only Gossamer, my Gown,
My Tippet-only Tulle.

We paused before House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground;
The Roof was scarcely visible,
The Cornice but a mound

Since then-'tis Centuries-and yet each
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' heads
Were toward Eternity.

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Post time 2014-8-11 10:57:58 |Display all floors
This post was edited by liu5222512 at 2014-8-11 10:58










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Post time 2014-8-11 17:15:38 |Display all floors
1  学校令人联想到人的童年;稻田暗指青壮年时期; 落日象征晚年;夜露和薄衣暗示尸骨之寒;隆出地面的矮屋代表坟墓;马车就是灵车。现实生活中迪金森的死亡观正如该诗中描写的那样。
2 Recess: 课间休息
3 Ring: 操场
4 He: 指落日
5 For only Gossamer … only Tulle: Gown指睡衣, 暗示寿衣;Tippet
6 Cornice: 门楣
7  ’tis: 即it is

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Post time 2014-8-11 17:15:58 |Display all floors
As exemplified in this poem,  “Because I could not stop for Death”, Dickinson focused on themes relating to Death, Eternity, and Love.

In the first stanza, the Death is personalized as a gentleman without any vestige (痕迹) of being ugly and horrifying and the poetic usage of the word “stop” is eyeball-catching.
Since the poetess has no time for thinking about and waiting for Death, Death patiently waits for her in the carriage of amiable atmosphere, where Immortality also accompanies them as an imaginary passenger.
By the personification of Immortality, we can sense that the  destination of this carriage is Eternity, which complies with the concept of death in the west that is “when we are born, we begin to die.”

In the second stanza, the poetess’ realization of the essence of Death is not, as generally supposed, to be imposed on her abruptly at the beginning of the journey because the journey is slow and the driver “Death” knows “no haste”.
Such being the case, Death appears to be so easy-going and affectionate that the poetess is beginning to embrace his “Civility” and banish her wild mind of the worldly “labor” and “leisure”, which are the staple elements to the living creatures.

The third stanza is rich in figurative implications. The three scenes passed by the carriage resemble one’s life journey from the childhood to the golden age.
Matched with the theme of this poem, one would simultaneously associate the three scenes with childhood, maturity and old age since the children are evident symbols of the beginning of things, the grain ripe of the adulthood, and the sun setting of the rest the days.
However, it is also not illogical and irrational to come to such a conclusion that the three things are the symbols of man’s recycle after Death — man, nature and universe.
In this picturesque frame all things smell the taste of being silent.
There presents a cycle by the word “Ring”, which indicates a circle from the birth to death, children’s growing into adult, seeds’ ripening into grain, the sun’s rising and setting.

As the late afternoon crawls to dusk, the evening dew appears. The “Dew” pulls the poetess from fantasy to the reality because of its quivering and chill.
Contrasted with the chill air, the poetess is dressed in the light silk gown, similar to a bridal gown or the shroud. By this deliberate suspense, where she is bound to remain a mystery unveiled in the fifth stanza.
They “paused” at the “House” with invisible roof and cornice. From the word “pause”, one would deduce that it is not the destination that the carriage is destined to.
And with such a suspense that destination appears unveiled, that is where the horses’ heads are pointed — the Eternity.

In this final stanza, the poet uses an extravagant hyperbole by yoking  “Centuries” to “Day”. Even though it seems that centuries have passed since the awareness of Death, these centuries “feel” shorter than the “Day”.         
After the final stanza, the theme of this poem becomes more concrete despite the topic is abstract — Death is a necessary agent for the completion of the order of things; Death serves Immortality.  

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Post time 2014-8-11 17:21:30 |Display all floors
i'm so glad i don't have to read these anymore.

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