‘I heard a fly buzz when I died’ by Emily Dickinson written in 1862 explores the theory of life after death. We are introduced to a fly and mourners around a supposed death bed. In the poem the main point of view is from the person whom mourners surround and who can hear the fly buzz. We are told in detail about every second of the dying process and can use the imagery described to help us imagine how the person is feeling. From only the few mourners that have gathered to see the death we can tell that there weren’t as many friends and family around throughout their life.
The voice of the poet is very somber and we get the feeling of emotionlessness. There is a sense of anticipation for death as “breaths were gathering firm for that last onset.” The poet is very serious in the way that she thinks the idea of the afterlife through. When reading this poem we feel the mood of an anxious person.
Throughout the whole poem we are given many descriptive sentences that help us to see what the person dying is seeing. We can interpret the fly as evil or a sign of the body decaying because we know that flies hang around dead things so it is a sign that death is near. “Between the light – and me,” is referring to the lights of heaven opening up and all that stands in between is the last few moments before death. “When the King be witnessed – in the room,” we are told that they are waiting for God to present himself after death has occurred. There are many visual images described in the poem that helps us a reader to understand the feel of what is happening and what could come after death.
For the first, third and fourth stanza the story is told through a persona point of view. In the second stanza we look out from the death bed and get a better understanding of what is past the person in the bed and how the ones surrounding are feeling. The poem is almost conversational between the reader and the figure that is in the poem. There are some opposites and...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document