Buffy Art Historian: Emily Dickinson

by Nandia Foteini Vlachou


Because I could not stop for Death (479)
Emily Dickinson, 1830 – 1886

Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility –

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –

Or rather – He passed us –
The Dews drew quivering and chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown –
My Tippet – only Tulle –

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground –

Since then – ‘tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses’ Heads
Were toward Eternity –


John Singer Sargent, Madonna, Mosaic, Saints Maria and Donato, Murano, ca. 1898, watercolor and gouache on white wove paper, 32.4 x 24.1 cm, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.


GILES: Oh, Emily Dickinson.

BUFFY: We’re both fans. [referring to the boy she likes]

GILES: Yes, uh, she’s quite a good poet, I mean for a…

BUFFY: A girl?

GILES: For an American.


season 1, episode 5, Never Kill a Boy on the First Date (written by
Rob DesHotel and Dean Batali, created by Joss Whedon)