Emily Dickinson’s poem, “465 I Heard a Fly Buzz—when I died—”, uses its form to emphasize the distracting elements in a human’s life. In the case of this poem, the appearance of multiple caesuras throughout the poem asserts the distractions the speaker is experiencing. With the help of the caesuras, the readers get to experience death as real life and not like as it is seen in the movies and this shows that distractions are around us at all time. Along with caesuras, Dickinson structures her poem with four stanzas. Each stanza represents the speaker getting closer and closer to death. the third stanza, however, there is a shift. In addition to caesuras, the shift brings in to play the element of distraction, which is the main theme of the poem.
Similar ambivalent themes are seen in Dickinson’s views of death. Death is primarily seen in a negative light and she supports that perspective in “I heard a Fly buzz - when I died -” When Dickinson starts this poem, the reader senses a feeling of control from the narrator. The narrator is ready for death and accepting it; she writes “I willed my keepsakes - Signed away/ What portion of me be/ Assignable” and the audience sees her willingness to go. However, “There interposed a Fly” and this fly’s interruption created a change in tone. The narrator felt the windows fail and this could be seen as a metaphor for losing her “spot” in heaven. This poem makes death seem almost scary and one could assume that Dickinson views death this way. Contrarily, in “I like a look of Agony” she portrays death as a serene, authentic concept. The narrator says there is no faking death and that’s what they most appreciate of death. Dickinson creates a relaxing tone associated with death and upon reading this certain poem, a reader may assume she views death as calm and genuine.
Comparing and Contrasting Dickinson’s Poems, Because I Could Not Stop for Death and I Heard a Fly Buzz - When I Died
Emily Dickinson was part of the American Transcendentalist movement. The word “transcendental” means character, thought, or action, so it is no surprise the movement was called Transcendentalism. The transcendentalists often worked together, unlike poets from other movements (webexhibits.org). The transcendentalists, particularly the women, often wrote about death and many people wonder why (Noble). The poem “I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died” is about a person lying on their death bed after having a will written. The persona, the person telling the story as a narrator, has been distracted by a fly.
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. When Dickinson writes in her first line, "I heard a fly buzz when I died," it grasps the reader's attention by describing the
Emily Dickinson once said, “Dying is a wild night and a new road.” Some people welcome death with open arms while others cower in fear when confronted in the arms of death. Through the use of ambiguity, metaphors, personification and paradoxes Emily Dickinson still gives readers a sense of vagueness on how she feels about dying. Emily Dickinson inventively expresses the nature of death in the poems, “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain (280)”, “I Heard a fly Buzz—When I Died—(465)“ and “Because I could not stop for Death—(712)”.
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.
Emily Dickinson spent her whole life becoming a writer instead of seeking for a husband, this is why most all of her poems were focused on loneliness or losing someone. In the poem “I hear a Fly buzz when I died”, tells a lot about her, I figure at her funeral when she would pass away, it would be pitch silence that any would be able to her a fly buzz. As she says “between the heaves of storm”, meaning she would be dead. Her Childhood reflects on everything she writes in her
In some instances within literature, writers surprise readers by incorporating ideas that the reader may or may not expect. Within Emily Dickinson’s poem “I heard a Fly Buzz When I Died”, readers are introduced to a ghostly speaker that discusses the scene of their deathbed. Readers are exposed to many surprises throughout various aspects of the poem.
Analysis of I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died and Because I Could Not Stop for Death by Emily Dickinson
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.
Emily Dickinson (1830-1836) is one of the greatest poets in American literature. Although she spent most of her life working in relative anonymity, her status rose sharply following her death and the subsequent publishing of much of her surviving work. Two of Dickinson’s most well-known poems are “Because I could not stop for Death—" and “I heard a Fly buzz - when I died”. I say known as because Dickinson never actually gave her poems proper titles. For this reason, the first lines of her poems have come to be used as a distinguishing reference. This paper will briefly analyze both poems in an attempt to both compare and measure their relative literary merits.
Two of Emily Dickinson’s poems, “I heard a Fly buzz-when I died” and “Because I could not stop for Death” are both written about life’s stopping point, death. Although the poems are written by the same poet, both poems view death in a different manner. Between the two poems, one views death as having an everlasting life while the other anticipates everlasting life, only to realize it does not exist. While both poems are about death, both poems also illustrate that the outcome of death is a mysterious experience that can only be speculated upon with the anticipation of everlasting life.
“I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died” is more ridged and scary when it comes to explaining death. The narrator is looking at death from the afterlife while seeing the more frightening side of death. This poem’s setting stays entirely in the room. In the beginning of the poem, the fly is disturbing the “stillness in the room” (Belasco 1331). The stillness in the room means she is dying alone with no family or friends. The start of the poem explains how there was no peace in the death by comparing it to a “storm.” It can be felt that the speaker is waiting for her death as they can hear the fly buzz like when you hear a clock tick as you wait for time to pass. Since the character has to wait for her departure, it shows she is experiencing a slow death. The fly buzzing plays an important role because it shows the advancement of death. Dickinson shows the progression of death by enhancing the last sense noticed before death when she focuses on hearing the smallest details in her surroundings. As the narrator is nearing her death, she can hear things that the normal average individual wouldn't notice. The fly distracts the narrator’s final moments and upsets her peaceful death. The earthly fly in the end stands between the narrator and the calm spiritual aspect of death. In the
I Heard a Fly Buzz – When I Died –, written by Emily Dickinson, is an interesting poem in which the poet deals with the subject of death in a doubtful yet both optimistic and pessimistic ways. The central theme of the poem is the doubtfulness and the reality of death. The poem is written in a very unique point of view; the narrator who is speaking is already dead. By using symbols, irony, oxymoron, imagery and punctuation, the poet greatly succeeds in showing the reality of death and her own doubtful feelings towards time after death.