Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Of Death and thoughts thereof

Everybody must either have or must've had a favorite poet of yours. It could be anyone... someone as prolific as Shakespeare or Shelly... or as obscure as Eleanor Ross Taylor or Matsuo Basho.

Well, Today, I'll be reminiscing one of my favorite poems ever.

Strangely, this poem has no name. And that is because the poet chose not to name it. The poet was just as strange as her poems... she lived a recluse for most of her life and almost all her poems were published after she passed away. And somehow, I wonder if all this was known to her. Poets are indeed mystical people. Some hide deep secrets in their verses that their prose writing counterparts can never achieve with simple spoken words.

Getting interested?

If you're still wondering who I'm talking about, it's none other than Emily Dickinson. And the poem in question is "Because I could not stop for Death". I love this poem... absolutely adore it! It's a little morose, almost like the words of a dead man (or woman) on her way to the mound. But strangely, that is what lends the verses such beauty.

And here's the poem -

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 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 –
Isn't it beautiful?

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