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Analysis and comments on I heard a Fly buzz -- when I died by Emily Dickinson

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Comment 22 of 612, added on April 5th, 2006 at 9:12 AM.

I don't see how this poem shows that she challenges the idea of the
existence of God, Rachel.

I appreciate how Dickinson used the 1st person narration to bring the
reader the feel of the poem, as if the reader him/herself is dying.

Whether it is literal or not, to me, doesn't matter, the point is to enjoy
it, since everyone's view of art might be slightly different, there is no
correct way of interpreting any poem.

As to how Dickinson would have interpreted the poem...only she herself
knows!

SWH from China
Comment 21 of 612, added on January 28th, 2006 at 10:05 AM.

I think Mary Gunderson said it BEST! I love it - I've always just had the
simplified view of the fly interfering with the dying "Emily" not being
able to see the "King" but her statement really opens my eyes. Thank you,
Mary!

Dan
Comment 20 of 612, added on January 13th, 2006 at 12:02 AM.

The fly represents the presence of death. THe buzz is the constant
annoyance of how death is near by. She some how knows she will die. The
eyes wrung dry means that everyone has mourned more than enough tears for
her. and she is waiting for the "king" god to appear when she dies. You can
see this because the Last- last breath, onset- beginning- beginning of new
life with god. she has willed her keepsakes- basically signed everything of
value to people around her. The fly suddenly appears- death is closer, it
is between the light and me- the fly is waiting for her to follow the
"light" and the windows failed- the storm had its last heave and her vision
was depleted for she died then and there.

Daniel from United States
Comment 19 of 612, added on November 27th, 2005 at 1:16 PM.

I agree that she is definately literally talking about death in this poem,
and she says somethign about giving away what she owned, and i think she
was kind of talking about her will, and giving the things she owned away
before she died. As for the fly, i believe that is what separated her from
heaven..and the room was quiet except for the buzzing, because the fly was
the thing that was the doubt on whether she could be pure enough to go to
heaven or not. I don't know is this is actually what she means, but it is
just a thought.

Jill from Canada
Comment 18 of 612, added on November 21st, 2005 at 8:33 AM.

Conal, if you are going to copy and paste please give credit to the author.

Jay
Comment 17 of 612, added on November 19th, 2005 at 3:00 PM.

I heard a fly the buzz is not really questioning what happens at death nor
does it question whether there is eternal life after death. The facts of
nature show that the body does decay after death; therefore, Ms. Dickinson
uses the fly. The spiritual being no longer needs the human body so there
is no conflict. I think this is simply a reflection on the death process
and customs associated with death of the physical body.

Mary Gunderson from United States
Comment 16 of 612, added on October 14th, 2005 at 9:57 AM.

I think the verse about the "waiting for the king" is rather meant to be
ironic because all the people around her want to witness God in the moment
of death, but all what they see and hear is a fly.
It is also rather sad because the relatioves have not come to support the
dying person but for egoistic reasons to make a spiritual experience.
Thus, I think, Dickinson deconstructs the whole image of relatives waiting
at a death bed. They are not there because of their love to the dying
person but to fulfil their own desires. however, this is denied to them.
Instead of God they see an ordinary fly.

red hairy from Belgium
Comment 15 of 612, added on September 29th, 2005 at 11:24 AM.

Wow! This is a really deep conversation, but I don't think this poem is
really about literal death. I felt that the poem was really a sustained
metaphor between marriage and death. The fly is a warning of what is to
come. The King is going to be her husband. The giving away of keepsakes is
a dowery or marriage presents.

gloria from United States
Comment 14 of 612, added on September 28th, 2005 at 6:30 PM.

There is metaphor and then there is murkiness. If 465 weren't Emily
Dickinson's it would be invisible.

Derek from United States
Comment 13 of 612, added on June 4th, 2005 at 1:08 PM.

it really does

Alan Crawford from Zimbabwe

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Information about I heard a Fly buzz -- when I died

Poet: Emily Dickinson
Poem: 465. I heard a Fly buzz -- when I died
Volume: Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Year: 1955
Added: Jan 9 2004
Viewed: 95313 times


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