November 10, 2012
Exploring Death through Literary Elements
True poetry is used to express thoughts about strange and sensitive subjects. It is not sung but melodiously said. Poetry has elements that are used to cross the limits of everyday spoken words. One author that uses these elements to unveil her eerie thoughts is Emily Dickinson. Emily Dickinson used personification, onomatopoeia, slant rhyme, and dashes to express her dark and light side of death and sorrow in “I heard a fly buzz.” In I heard a Fly buzz –when I died, she uses personification to define her aspect of death. “And breaths were gathering firm/For the last onset –when the King/Be witnessed…” (I heard a Fly buzz –when I died, Emily Dickinson, Lines 6, 7 and 8) Yet again, Dickinson shows how death is a commanding living being because although her poem does not state the breaths belong to her, they prepared to the like of beings with a willpower, for a last assault, a last fight when “the King” or death was present. The poem shows the reader a “rare glimpse of dying from the view point of someone who is already dead. Death is a part of life no matter what personal belief one has, and according to Emily Dickinson, life may continue after death.” (Herron)
Slant Rhyme is another element that Dickinson puts into her poesy. Although it is unorthodox alongside conventional rhyme, Slant Rhyme still overcomes the purpose. In I heard a fly –when I died she used the slant rhyme to display her feebleness in death. “Between the light and me/ I could not see to see-.” (I heard a Fly –when I died, Emily Dickinson, Lines 14 and 16) Dickinson shows that even though the light –which could be speculated as life was existent, she went into depth and revealed that she could not find the determination to be able to live anymore. Furthermore, logically, she could only see the darkness or death if she could not see the light. “Her breathing indicates that "that last onset" or death is about to happen. "Last...
Cited: Bennett, Paula. “On 465 ("I Heard a Fly Buzz--when I Died--").” Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois. University of Illinois. Web. 10 Nov. 2012.
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