Study Guide

Because I could not stop for Death Spirituality

By Emily Dickinson

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And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too, (6-7)

Because the speaker is spiritually committed to dying and to what comes after death, she no longer worries about "earthly things."

We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain – (11)

Grain is mentioned in the Bible often, usually as a sign of prosperity and life. The fact that they are passing grain shows the speaker's journey away from health and life toward death. The spirit is usually thought to be free of the body in the afterlife, so no need for grain or any other food, for that matter. Hunger is a thing of the past! Though this poem is not explicitly written from a Christian perspective, this may be one hint as to the speaker's spiritual influences.

The Roof was scarcely visible – (19)

This is a classic example of spirituality and faith – the speaker does not need to see the whole thing to know it exists, she simply believes it.

Were toward Eternity – (24)

Immortality and spirituality often go hand-in-hand. They both tend to support the idea of something after this life on Earth. So, in order to think about eternity, the speaker had to have some faith that after her death there would be something more waiting for her.

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