We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –

from Emily Dickinson – Because I could not stop for Death (712) on Rap Genius

Meaning

In keeping with the idea of this journey being a funeral procession, the personification of these vast fields of grain “Gazing” at the carriage evokes an image similar to that of a crowd of people “Gazing” in silence at a funeral.

The third stanza suggests the lyrical “I” seeing her life flashing before her eyes. The children represent childhood; the fields of gazing grain evoke the lyrical I’s maturity (when the field of the self has been cultivated from its original seeds); the setting sun represents Death. This interpretation is supported by the ring — symbol for the circle of life?

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