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The Theme Of Death In Poems

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Poetry & Poets

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Death is a common theme in many poems. It is viewed so differently to
everyone. In the poems, "Because I could not stop for Death," "First Death in
Nova Scotia," and "War is kind" death is presented by each narrator as something
different. To one it is a kind gentle stranger while to another it is a cold
cruel being.
A kind gentleman stranger personifies death in, "Because I could not
stop for Death." The narrator of the poem is a busy person, with little time,
and definitely no time to die. Her carriage driver, which is death, arrives to
take her into immortality. Death isn't hasty, he doesn't take her quickly. He
drives her past things that the narrator had not taken the time to notice in a
while. The narrator watched as he drives her past a school, where children are
playing, and then on they go past fields. She sees the sun go down, and the
carriage driver past the sun, but she realizes they weren't passing the sun, it
was passing them; time was passing by, past her life. Her life has now past her
by, and she is arriving at her final destination, which was her grave, yet she
describes it as her house. In the end she is looking back, and sees how
centuries have passed, yet she isn't passing by anymore, and to her this hundred
years seems as no time at all. Finally she accepts her death, and is able to
pass into eternity. To her death wasn't harsh like some see it, but a kindly,
gentle soul, taking her for a carriage ride to her final home.
A child experiences death much differently than an adult. Children
aren't quite able to see death as the sad even that it is. "First Death in Nova
Scotia" tells of a young boys death, and his cousins view of it. We are shown
Arthur's death through the eyes of a child. The little girl, our narrator,
describes the scene of her cousins funeral. Her focus however is not how we
might think that she would perceive it. She describes to us pictures of the
Royal family hanging in the room, and of a stuffed loon ...

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