The Chariot

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 played,
Their lessons scarcely done;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

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; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.

 

 


Baldung Grien

Title:

Chariot, The

Poet:

Dickinson, Emily

Year of Publication:

1890

Age Appropriate:

14-15

Notes:

Death

Form:

Allegory

Stanza:

5

Type:

Lyric

Lines:

20

Rhyme:

Near rhyme; abac

Literary Period:

American Romanticism

Things to Discuss:

Who are the two who are traveling in the chariot? What is the poet's attitude toward death? Does death respond? What is the house they visit? Does it resemble houses that you are familiar with? How does the journey end for the speaker? Does the speaker believe in eternity? What words support your answer?

About the Poem:

Like many of Dickinson's poems, they engage death and immortality.