Category Archives: Poetry & Death – American

Brief Analysis of Emily Dickinson’s, “Because I could not stop for Death”

Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886) was born in Amherst, Massachusetts. After studying at the Amherst Academy for seven years in her youth, she briefly attended the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary before returning to her family’s house in Amherst. Dickinson never married, and most friendships between her and others depended entirely upon correspondence. For most of her life, she lived as a recluse. Continue reading Brief Analysis of Emily Dickinson’s, “Because I could not stop for Death”

Longfellow’s “Morituri Salutamas” – A Poem About Old Age

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow photographed by Julia Margaret Cameron in 1868

In 1875, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 – 1882) accepted an offer from the American Civil War hero Joshua Chamberlain to speak at Longfellow’s fiftieth reunion at Bowdoin College. There he read his poem “Morituri Salutamus.” (The title of the poem means, “We who are about to die, salute you.”) Continue reading Longfellow’s “Morituri Salutamas” – A Poem About Old Age

Longfellow’s “A Psalm of Life” – A Poem About the Passage of Time

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, photographed by Julia Margaret Cameron in 1868.jpg

The passage of time steals our youth, our vitality, and any permanence that we might hope for. How best to respond to our situation? Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) tried to answer this question in 1838 in his poem “A Psalm of Life.” Continue reading Longfellow’s “A Psalm of Life” – A Poem About the Passage of Time

Philip Appleman: Poem About His Mother’s Dying


Philip D. Appleman (1926 –  ) is an American poet and Professor Emeritus at Indiana University. I first became acquainted with him when I read his edited collection, Darwin (Norton Critical Editions), which is a classic in the field. Continue reading Philip Appleman: Poem About His Mother’s Dying