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Dickinson’s Poetry

Emily Dickinson

“I heard a Fly buzz—when I died—...”

“I died for Beauty—but was scarce...”

“The Brain—is wider than the Sky—”

Summary

The speaker says that she heard a fly buzz as she lay on her deathbed. The room was as still as the air between “the Heaves” of a storm. The eyes around her had cried themselves out, and the breaths were firming themselves for “that last Onset,” the moment when, metaphorically, “the King / Be witnessed—in the Room—.” The speaker made a will and “Signed away / What portion of me be / Assignable—” and at that moment, she heard the fly. It interposed itself “With blue—uncertain stumbling Buzz—” between the speaker and the light; “the Windows failed”; and then she died (“I could not see to see—”).

Form

“I heard a Fly buzz” employs all of Dickinson’s formal patterns: trimeter and tetrameter iambic lines (four stresses in the first and third lines of each stanza, three in the second and fourth, a pattern Dickinson follows at her most formal); rhythmic insertion of the long dash to interrupt the meter; and an ABCB rhyme scheme. Interestingly, all the rhymes before the final stanza are half-rhymes (Room/Storm, firm/Room, be/Fly), while only the rhyme in the final stanza is a full rhyme (me/see). Dickinson uses this technique to build tension; a sense of true completion comes only with the speaker’s death.

Commentary

One of Dickinson’s most famous poems, “I heard a Fly buzz” strikingly describes the mental distraction posed by irrelevant details at even the most crucial moments—even at the moment of death. The poem then becomes even weirder and more macabre by transforming the tiny, normally disregarded fly into the figure of death itself, as the fly’s wing cuts the speaker off from the light until she cannot “see to see.” But the fly does not grow in power or stature; its final severing act is performed “With Blue—uncertain stumbling Buzz—.” This poem is also remarkable for its detailed evocation of a deathbed scene—the dying person’s loved ones steeling themselves for the end, the dying woman signing away in her will “What portion of me be / Assignable” (a turn of phrase that seems more Shakespearean than it does Dickinsonian).

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The Brain is than the Sky' Dickinson crossword

by crosswords1, September 28, 2013

This time, we got the following crossword puzzle clue : The Brain is than the Sky' Dickinson that also known as The Brain is than the Sky' Dickinson 5 letters . First, we gonna look for more hints to the The Brain is than the Sky' Dickinson crossword puzzle . Then we will collect all the require information and for solving The Brain is than the Sky' Dickinson crossword . In the final, we get all the possible answers for the this crossword puzzle definition.
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Hope poem analysis

by Nerradnahc, February 21, 2014

What is hope? Hope is what gives someone the feeling that they still can succeed even when everything is against them. It gives someone the will to go on even when there is only a small chance. In the poem “Hope” the poet Emily Dickinson describes hope as an never ending greatness that “perches in the soul”, it’s inside you and keeps you warm. Hope can not be put down easily and never ask for anything even in tough times. In this poem, Emily Dickinson describes hope as a lively, confident bird that go against chillest land and stra... Read more

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Biblical Allusion

by 14elusky, April 13, 2014

I think it's possible that this poem has a biblical allusion when it refers to the bird. Dickinson was raised in the transcendentalist era, and there was a lot of criticism oriented around the bible. The allusion could be that Jesus was said to give bread to people of poverty. He then told them not to eat the bread without giving the crumbs to the bird. I think this relates to the poem because man and nature was seen as one, while now they are considered to be vastly divided.

I'm not religious so I have no idea if this is correct or ... Read more

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4 out of 5 people found this helpful

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