I Heard A Fly Buzz When I Died, By Emily Dickinson

Decent Essays

Emily Dickinson was and is one of the most prominent, female lyric poets. A recluse for nearly her entire life, Dickinson had plenty of time to become the distinguished prolific poet she is commonly recognized as being in present day. Dickinson wrote hundreds upon hundreds of brilliant poems in her lifetime, but “I Heard a Fly Buzz—When I Died—” stands out as unique among them all. The speaker’s point of view coming from an after-death perspective is but one of the many details that makes this poem so intricately distant from the rest. Along with that detail, Dickinson uses multiple other poetic devices, like similes, metaphors, and personification, to develop her viewpoint of life surrounding death, establishing an overarching theme of death being simple. As alluded to in the poem, “Faith” is fine a invention”, Dickinson had a wary conception of the afterlife and spirituality in general. Furthermore, descriptions of Dickinson portray her as a consistent agnostic, although she was also described as being heavily influenced by Puritan religious beliefs. Through this character trait readers can begin to develop the background story behind “I Heard a Fly Buzz—When I Died—” as well as begin to understand how Dickinson’s viewpoints on faith and death could have helped shaped the poem in it’s entirety. Within the very first line of the poem, readers are already asked to question the importance of a fly’s presence juxtaposed to the death of the speaker. In this opening line the

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