Seth’s Favorite Poems

It feels a little cliche or obvious to include Emily Dickinson’s “Because I Could Not Stop For Death” in a list of favorite poems, it being, of course, one of the most famous poems in any language in the history of time and the universe, but, hey, it’s one of my favorite poems, so here it is.  There is and always will be a “major literary controversy” as to how this poem should be laid out on the page (there being many different interpretations of how Ms. Dickinson’s handwritten manuscripts can be transcribed) and I have simply chosen the one that I like best.  You can click here to see all the previous poems in my Favorite Poems series.

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 a 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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