Death – An Inevitable Fact of Life: A Comparative Study of the Portrayal of Death in Emily Dickinson’s and Jalaluddin Rumi’s Selected Poems

https://doi.org/10.36892/ijlts.v5i3.459

Authors

Keywords:

death, Emily Dickinson, poetry, Rumi, Mortality

Abstract

The undeniable certainty of death and the uncertain fate of humans after death have been the greatest concerns of humanity from the beginning of existence until now. No one is untouched by the profound event of death, and most have not refrained from creating often horrifying images of it in their minds. Death is one of the most significant stages and events in human life, and the manner of facing it and the attitude towards it have always been crucial issues in the history of human intellectual life. The way one dies, the purpose of death, and the timing and circumstances of death all have a profound impact on the human perspective on mortality. For some, death is the most terrifying moment in the cycle of human life, seen as the endpoint of existence and a descent into nothingness. Yet, for others, it marks the beginning of a new life. The approach to death is a fundamental theme in literature, as the inevitability of death intertwines with life, providing a prevalent topic in the works of poets and writers. The following study, using the textual analysis method, tries to depict the varied themes of death portrayed in two poets’ selected works; Emily Dickinson, an American poet, and Rumi, a poet from the east part of the world with thoughts inspired by Quranic verses. In Emily Dickinson's selected poems, “I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died,” and “I Felt a Funeral in My Brain,” the theme of death emerges as a central and pervasive element, reflecting the poet's unique perspective on mortality. Dickinson's treatment of death is characterized by a tragic and pessimistic outlook, marked by an abundance of pain and suffering. The fear of death consistently haunts her mind, profoundly shaping her perception of life. On the contrary, the imagery of embracing death and the belief in eternal life with the divine Lord underscore Rumi's fearless attitude toward mortality in his poem “When I Die.”

Published

2024-06-14

How to Cite

Afghan, J. (2024). Death – An Inevitable Fact of Life: A Comparative Study of the Portrayal of Death in Emily Dickinson’s and Jalaluddin Rumi’s Selected Poems. International Journal of Linguistics and Translation Studies, 5(3), 68–80. https://doi.org/10.36892/ijlts.v5i3.459