Emily Dickinson’s poem “I heard a fly buzz when I died” is a reflection on what happens when one dies. In the poem, the speaker is waiting to die. It seems as though they are expecting something spectacular to happen at the moment of their death. This spectacular event they are expecting does not happen.
I heard a fly buzz when I died
By Emily Dickinson
I heard a fly buzz when I died;
The stillness round my form
Was like the stillness in the air
Between the heaves of storm.
The eyes beside had wrung them dry.
And breaths were gathering sure
For that last onset, when the king
Be witnessed in his power.
I willed my keepsakes, signed away
What portion of me I
Could make assignable,--and then
There interposed a fly,
With blue, uncertain, stumbling buzz,
Between the light and me;
And then the windows failed, and then
I could not see to see.
The speaker describes their situation on their deathbed. The sense of stillness in the air means that the speaker thinks something important is about to happen when they die. Their mood is very solemn, and the still air brings a feeling of tension. There is not yet a mention of the afterlife, just the speaker waiting for death. The stillness is described as “between the heaves of storm,” referring to the calm that sometimes occurs between storms. This is a very quite almost peaceful stillness, but there is a sign of more things to come. In this case, death is the storm they are waiting for after the calm. The speaker is expecting a big event to happen.
As the speakers loved ones begin to mourn, there is a feeling that they too were gathering around to witness some spectacular event that would ...
... middle of paper ...
...There is no large flash of light, no loud noises, just the simple buzzing of a fly. Seeing death as a natural passing places man back in nature. There is no amazing flash of light, or deafening noise, or grand revelation. The choice of a fly as the interrupting entity reinforces the anti-climactic nature of death. Man passes into death the same as anything else in nature. The “blue, uncertain, stumbling buzz” of the fly implies that not even the buzz of the fly was meant to recognize the death of the speaker. The fly buzzes by because that is the nature of the fly. It did not stop its life for the death of the speaker. This can be seen as nature (the fly) realizing that death is not some incredible event, but a natural passing. Nature moves on, accepting the dead back into the earth. This reinforces that death, even the death of a human, is a simple passing.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Death in Dickinson's I heard a fly buzz when I died Emily Dickinson’s poem “I heard a fly buzz when I died” is a reflection on what happens when one dies. In the poem, the speaker is waiting to die. It seems as though they are expecting something spectacular to happen at the moment of their death. This spectacular event they are expecting does not happen. I heard a fly buzz when I died By Emily Dickinson I heard a fly buzz when I died; The stillness round my form Was like the stillness in the air Between the heaves of storm.... [tags: Emily Dickinson Poem Essays]
897 words (2.6 pages)
- Death in Emily Dickinson's Because I Could Not Stop for Death and I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died Emily Dickinson's two poems, "Because I Could Not Stop For Death" and "I Heard A Fly Buzz-When I Died," revolve around one central theme, death. Though the two do centralize around the theme of death they both have slightly different messages or beliefs about what is to come after death. By discussing both of the poems and interpreting their meanings, the reader can gain a fuller understanding of the message Dickinson is trying to send to her audience and a greater feel for what may lie ahead in the afterlife.... [tags: Emily Dickinson Death Dying Literature Essays]
962 words (2.7 pages)
Death in Emily Dickinson's Because I Could Not Stop for Death, I Heard A Fly Buzz-When I Died, and I Felt A Funeral In My Brain
- Death in Emily Dickinson's "Because I Could Not Stop for Death," "I Heard A Fly Buzz-When I Died," and "I Felt A Funeral In My Brain" Emily Dickinson's poems "Because I Could Not Stop for Death", "I Heard A Fly Buzz-When I Died", and "I Felt A Funeral In My Brain" all deal with one of life's few certainties, death. Dickinson's intense curiosity towards mortality was present in much of her work, and is her legacy as a poet. "Because I could Not Stop for Death" is one of Emily Dickinson's most discussed and famous poems due to its ambiguous, and unique view on the popular subject of death.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
1443 words (4.1 pages)
Comparing and Contrasting Dickinson’s Poems, Because I Could Not Stop for Death and I Heard a Fly Buzz- When I Died
- Comparing and Contrasting Dickinson’s Poems, Because I Could Not Stop for Death and I Heard a Fly Buzz - When I Died Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born on 10th December, 1830, in the town of Amherst, Massachusetts. As a young child, she showed a bright intelligence, and was able to create many recognizable writings. Many close friends and relatives in Emily’s life were taken away from her by death. Living a life of simplicity and aloofness, she wrote poetry of great power: questioning the nature of immortality and death.... [tags: compare, contrast, Emily Dickinson]
846 words (2.4 pages)
- An average fly is only 1.2 millimeters in length. One may think an unpleasant fly is insignificant, though it can symbolize a much larger meaning. In Emily Dickinson’s commendable poem I Heard a Fly Buzz-When I Died, Dickinson negatively approaches religion in the fly that buzzes throughout the course of her poem resembles the evil one, death throughout the poem and where there is good there is evil around the corner. One can prove these methods by the three elements of symbolism, oxymoron and irony.... [tags: Death, Life, Good and evil, Emily Dickinson]
1551 words (4.4 pages)
Differing Experiences of Death in "I Heard a Fly Buzz-When I Died" and "Because I Could Not Stop for Death by Dickinson,
- ... The reader is able to connect to a house and relate to the welcoming feeling that most houses give off. It seems unusual that an author would use very mundane images like a "house" and a "roof" in describing her grave. The last stage of the narrator's journey is in lines twenty three and twenty four. Dickinson uses horses' heads as a means to add closure to "Because I could not stop for Death." The narrator is aware that she is about to pass away, as expressed by stating, "I first surmised the horses' heads/ Were toward eternity." However, Dickinson only mentioned the head of the horse, and not the entire horse.... [tags: imagery, afterlife, fear]
1861 words (5.3 pages)
- ... In Emily Dickinson’s poem “I Heard a Fly Buzz When I died” the poem seems to revolve about death. After reading the poem countless times many different meanings come to mind, but one seems particularly clear: Emily Dickinson is writing about how death can feel, how it happens, and what can be expected from it. The first line of the poem starts off with “I Heard a Fly Buzz-When I Died”, where Emily is starting to picture the idea of death. She sees people dying around her and she wants to feel what they are feeling, more specifically the feeling of death and life carrying on around you.... [tags: death, war, poem ]
599 words (1.7 pages)
- An Annotation of Emily Dickinson's I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died Emily Dickinson's poem "I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died" is centralized on the events of death and is spoken through the voice of the dying person. The poem explores both the meaning of life and death through the speaker and the significant incidents at the time of near death that the speaker notices. Many of Dickinson's poems contain a theme of death that searches to find meaning and the ability to cope with the inevitable. This poem is no exception to this traditional Dickinson theme; however its unusual comparisons and language about death set it apart from how one would view a typically tragic event.... [tags: Dickinson Heart Fly Buzz Died Essays]
1089 words (3.1 pages)
- Life is journey that all are forced to take and it always ends in the same place; death. Emily Dickinson was one of America’s great poets and she “defined herself and her experience by exclusion, by what she was not” (“Dickinson, Emily” 457). Death is a well versed topic for Dickinson due to her many poems dissecting the subject. In her poem “I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –“the subject is experiencing their last few moments along with the reader. Dickinson’s life experiences, writing style and even the echoes of Hamlet resonate to provide a picture of the transition between life and death.... [tags: Poetry, Life, Death, Dash]
1200 words (3.4 pages)
Analysis of I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died and Because I Could Not Stop for Death by Emily Dickinson
- Analysis of I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died and Because I Could Not Stop for Death by Emily Dickinson Emily Dickinson wrote many poems in her lifetime. She writes two of my favorite poems. They are: ?I heard a Fly buzz when I died. and ?Because I could not stop for Death?. They both have similarities and differences from each other. There are similarities in these two poems such as the theme and the observentness of the narrator. Both of the poems themes involve death. In ?I heard a Fly buzz when I died?, the poet writes, .... [tags: Papers Compare Contrast Poetry Dickinson Essays]
585 words (1.7 pages)
- Inner Vision: an Exploration of Art and the Brain, by Semir Zeki
- The Effects of Schizophrenia on the Brain
- Postpartum Depression
- Current Research Investigations of Corollary Discharge
- Kay Redfield Jamison's Touched With Fire: Manic Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temeprament
- A Sample and Critique of psi Research