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

1200 Words 5 Pages
Emily Dickinson wrote over 1774 poems in her lifetime and is regarded as one of the most influential American poets of all time. Her unusual writing style and unconventional use of punctuation and rhythm in her poems was unique and unparalleled during her time. One of her most famous short poems about the concept of death was I heard a Fly buzz - when I died -. Various elements throughout this poem are carefully integrated together in an effort to build its theme: Death is an ordinary and natural part of life, not some extraordinary or magnificent event that many believe it to be. Dickinson begins and ends her poem with the speaker hearing the sound of a fly buzz. The speaker describes the atmosphere of the room as being still, and compares …show more content…
Its use of rhythm worked well to add on to the effect of the theme. Dickinson used iambic meters throughout her poem to give it a rhythmic and smooth feel. “I heard a Fly buzz - when I died - / The Stillness in the Room” (1-2). Throughout Dickinson’s poem, she alternates between iambic tetrameters and iambic trimeters. This repeated pattern throughout her poem on death may represent how boring, or standard, death really is. Death is not a steep canyon that causes people to wonder in awe, but rather smooth and flat, and is just like every other aspect of one’s life. The dashes in Dickinson’s poem also serve a purpose in the poem’s overall meaning and theme. “Assignable - and then.../ a Fly -” (11-12). The amount of dashes in Dickinson’s work gradually increases over the progression of the poem. This can signify that the speaker is nearing death and her ability to think is slowly deteriorating. Without the ability to think, everything seems to become more mundane and ordinary. As the speaker is nearing her death, the conception of dying is made ordinary because of her decreased ability to think. Dickinson also used rhyme in her poem to strengthen her theme. The second and fourth line of every stanza of Dickinson’s poem contains a slant rhyme, but it isn’t until we reach the end of the poem that a perfect rhyme occurs: “ the Room // of Storm” (2&4) and “and me // to see” (18&20). The continuous …show more content…
The events in the poem were calming and peaceful throughout the entire work, that is, until the end. The author uses the words “Stillness” and “Breaths” to emphasize the speaker’s will to die a peaceful and, in her mind, a perfect death. However, the calming and peaceful mood was later interrupted by the intervention of the filthy fly. “ and then it was / There interposed a Fly-” (11-12). The speaker’s vision of a perfect, sublime death containing peace and harmony, was interrupted by something so common. Death is just like life, and it is part of life; death is not something that should be prepared for, but rather, accepted as being

Related Documents