NaPoWriMo: Poem – Wrapped Refrain – “Death Stops” 

And now for our (optional) prompt! Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that begins with a line from a another poem (not necessarily the first one), but then goes elsewhere with it. This will work best if you just start with a line of poetry you remember, but without looking up the whole original poem. (Or, find a poem that you haven’t read before and then use a line that interests you). The idea is for the original to furnish a sort of backdrop for your work, but without influencing you so much that you feel stuck just rewriting the original!. For example, you could begin, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day,” or “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons,” or “I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster,” or “they persevere in swimming where they like.” Really, any poem will do to provide your starter line – just so long as it gives you the scope to explore. Happy writing!

Please see NaPoWriMo for further information.


A poem with another poems line: “Because I could not stop for death. He kindly stopped for me.”  – Emily Dickinson.



Think it’s relevant, everything?

We do each day?  We are revelling,

Time drip-slipping away everyday.

Hovering over lunacy, play,

Forgetting we’re mortal, time wields our last battle.

Scars running deep, old injuries, our bones rattle.


Knowing their isn’t a choice when death comes,

Though we run, he’ll kindly stop some —

Method of escape; We can’t stop —

For death, we wouldn’t know to drop,

So, he stops his chariot racing, catches mortal.

No breathing in the air, you’ve no need at the portal.


To blessed world you find escape,

Death leading you in his slow gait, 

Time it has no meaning, kingdom —

Come has arrived and you are done.

Though years you might’ve waited for death to take you,

Think it’s relevant? Time? His hands; God holds you.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

9 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo: Poem – Wrapped Refrain – “Death Stops” ”

  1. That is a great line you chose from Emily Dickinson. It’s a good reminder, I think, that at the end of the day, Death will always take us. And I like how you incorporated the tone of Emily’s line, sad but positive at the same time, into your own poem. Very well done Mandi 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a telling line: “No breathing in the air, you’ve no need at the portal.” Death changes us, no doubt. But death is reality; and as with other things, death is in the hand of God.

    Good teaching, Mandi! Comforting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Christopher. Good Morning or whatever time of day it was you are. Glad you liked this. It was I difficult choosing alone from just one poet, but Dickinson is one of my favourites. I’m glad it’s good teaching. Thanks for your thoughts.


  3. Your first line stopped me in my tracks. Indeed – is everything relevant? And then the following lines remind us about how little time we have and that we really don’t have any control over anything. Thank you for the reminder. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

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