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Emily Dickenson’s Poem I Heard A Fly Buzz When I Died

977 words - 4 pages

Even though it is a short 16 lines long, Emily Dickenson’s poem “I heard a Fly buzz—when I died—” is full of death and darkness as well as light and life. Throughout the poem, seeing and sight are major topics which serve as a sense of irony for the narrator who is dying. Dickenson is able to describe death in a very vivid and colorful way that makes readers feel as if they are at the bedside of the dying narrator. She is excellent in her use of hidden meanings and references for such a short poem— this is the mark of an exceptional poet .
Dickenson uses the em dash constantly throughout the poem— even in the title. She does this in order to make the reader pause for a second for dramatic ...view middle of the document...

That is why she uses clever diction to draw more emotion out off the reader than just that of someone dying.
Sight and imagery are major subjects throughout “I heard a Fly buzz—when I died—”. Dickenson uses the words “eyes,” “witnessed,” and “light,” to represent life. She uses multiple references to life in order to represent the life that the character on his or her deathbed lived. She never tells whether or not the person lived a happy or a sad life but she does make it apparent that the person is having an average and sad death. When the character says, “I could not see to see—” (Line 16), in the last line of the poem, this is how Dickenson describes the actual event of dying— everything going black as the character passes away. Her use of imagery depicts the sadness of the narrator’s death. In the first stanza, the author talks about the “stillness in the air” (Line 3), describing the atmosphere surrounding the narrator as he or she is about to die. Dickenson uses a storm to represent the death and despair that are lying ahead later in the poem. In stanza two, the author mentions the “King Be witnessed…in the Room” (Line 7-8), describing how the room has a quiet and sad atmosphere as everyone awaits the presence of God. In the third stanza, the narrator “signs away what portions of me be assignable” (Line 9-10), meaning that he or she signed a will getting rid of all earthly possessions. In stanza four, a fly is used to make the “windows fail”, causing the narrator to die. The fly that represents death causes the narrator to leave sight of the light...

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