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Analysis on Dickinson and Navarro

  • Date Submitted: 03/10/2014 12:37 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 59.4 
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The Unknown Destination: After Death

Taking a swift glance on the list of poems Emily Dickinson wrote, one could infer that the topic of death and its consequences, like eternity, was significant to her. Almost half of her published poems are about death, assumes Peter Nesteruk, a China-based researcher and lecturer. However, critics continue to debate on the reason why the death theme was so important to Dickinson. There are speculations that her upbringing in a strictly religious family could be a factor, or that the shift from Puritanism ideology to Transcendentalism during her time affected her as well. Whatever the reason is, Dickinson’s death poems remain the most powerful among her work, especially Because I Could Not Stop for Death. In this poem, Dickinson personifies Death as a civil gentleman who “knew no haste.” The drive in the carriage represented the stages of human life – from childhood, to maturity, to death. The poem ends with an implication that the persona had been long gone, and that he/she is now in eternity.

Looking at the Filipino perspective of perceiving and dealing with death, the Christian orientation instills in our minds that there is life after death. Although we usually avoid the topic of death, once it is there, we would always say that his/her soul is in heaven. It actually turns out to be ironic – how we fear death and avoid talking about it, especially when we have old and terminally ill people around, but we say that we believe that their death is God’s will, and that they will go to a happy place after death. In Chary Lou Navarro’s poem Si Lola Isyang at ang Matandang Puno ng Kaimito, an old woman, who is compared to an old kaimito tree, finally succumbs to death. The arrival of death was symbolized through the “fingers of the wind,” and I got the impression that death had come to her in a gentle manner, just like how those same fingers slowly picked the leaves of the kaimito tree.

Like what I have mentioned earlier,...

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