Because I Could Not Stop For Death Summary Stanza by Stanza
Because I Could Not Stop For Death Summary
In this poem the poetess says that she was so busy that she could not wait for death to accompany him. Death was so kind that he stopped and waited for her. The vehicle of death carried only two persons-the poetess and death. Also there was immortality which was not visible. Their carriage was carrying them towards eternity. The suggestion is that death is always present with human beings but it is not visible. When death kills a person he goes to eternity and cannot return from there. Death has killed her and now she goes to eternity.
The poetess says that death and she herself drove very slowly the vehicle of life. Death was not in a hurry. She deferred all her chores. She even put away her hard work and her spare time for the decency of death. Both the poetess and death carried on their journey in the same carriage, towards immortality.
In these lines the poetess says that she and death passed by the school where children were contesting at the recess time in a circle. They also passed by the ripe corn which was waiting to be reaped. The ripened gram had covered many plains of field. During their journey they also saw the setting sun while passing by it. The children at school, the ripe corn and the setting sun may be her childhood, youth and old age.
In this stanza the poetess says that it was rather the sun which, while going down passed by them. Then, after the sunset, night prevailed. The dew-drops began to fall gently. These drops brought light, cold and shivering. She arrived because she was wearing very decent dress. The dress consisted of her feminine scarf and thin gauzed clothes.
In these lines the poetess tells that they continued their journey for quite some time. At last they stopped at a house which was merely a swelling of the ground. It was the grave. The roof of the house was hardly visible because its cornice was so low that it was at level with the ground or in the ground. In this stanza the suggestion is that man continues his life, passes by many events, good or bad and finally reaches the grave.
The grave is very low and it seems as if it were a bulging of the ground.
After stopping at the grave, the poetess says that there is a feeling that many centuries elapse in the grave but all this time seems to be even shorter than a day. The poetess further says that at the very outset of their journey she had guessed that the horses of their carriage were carrying them towards eternity. The whole poem is full of the thought that with man‟s arrival at this world, death also journeys with him. Man performs many task and acts in various stages of life. Right from his infancy, school-life maturity and old age, he passes and finally reaches the grave, an eternal destination. It is here that eternity, or his never-ending life, or life from time to timelessness starts.
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