(Article/content is below...)

It was not Death, for I stood up by Emily Dickinson


"It was not Death, for I stood up" is a poem written by Emily Dickinson. This poem is another one of Dickinson's fantasies about death. She imagines everything simply stop as she has a strange feeling. It was dark and she felt as if she couldn't breath.

"It was not Death, for I stood up" is written as six stanzas with four lines in each one. Dickinson writes this poem in the same tempo as most of her other works. She writes it in pairs where the first line of each pair is longer than the second and the second lines of the pairs rhyme together in each stanza. The rhymes are imperfect in that they don't completely rhyme. Such as in the second stanza: "crawl" is imperfectly rhymed with "cool".

Johnson number: 510


It was not Death, for I stood up

It was not Death, for I stood up,
And all the dead lie down;
It was not night, for all the bells
Put out their tongues, for noon.

It was not frost, for on my flesh
I felt siroccos crawl, -
Nor fire, for just my marble feet
Could keep a chancel cool.

And yet it tasted like them all;
The figures I have seen
Set orderly, for burial,
Reminded me of mine,

As if my life were shaven
And fitted to a frame,
And could not breathe without a key;
And 'twas like midnight, some,

When everything that ticked has stopped,
And space stares, all around,
Or grisly frosts, first autumn morns
Repeal the beating ground.

But most like chaos - stopless, cool, -
Without a chance or spar,
Or even a report of land
To justify despair.

Next: It's All I Have to Bring To-day
Recommended Content
Find out more information about this poem and read others like it.


Literary Movement
19th Century


Last update: