Verse > Emily Dickinson > Complete Poems > IV. Time & Eternity > 128. “I heard a fly buzz when I died”

Emily Dickinson (1830–86).  Complete Poems.  1924.

Part Four: Time and Eternity


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,        5
  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        10
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        15
  I could not see to see.


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