Poetry: Death and Poem Essay

Submitted By Mkohli1
Words: 400
Pages: 2

Written during the romantic era of American Poetry, “I Heard a Fly Buzz When I died” describes the mental distractions of irrelevant details even during crucial life-or death moments. In the poem, the narrator distinguishes two different perspectives of death: the traditional beliefs and the rituals of death. The two different perspectives are used by Emily Dickinson to exaggerate the meaning of death and immortality, which attribute to the speaker’s sarcastic tone because it is then compared to a fly buzzing.
Several characteristics of the Romantic movement are present in this poem, particularly the feelings of solitude and introspection. The premise of the poem reflects on the speakers feelings of solitude. While the opening lines emphasize the loneliness in terms of the deafening silence of the room. Dickinson uses the description of silence in the second stanza to characterize the people attending the deathbed; portraying the watchers as only “Eyes and Breaths”. It is clear that the speaker feels little connection to them, and instead focuses on the silence of the room and the buzzing of the fly. Dickinson uses the silence and the sound of the fly to make the final moments before death very personal and private, creating a very introspective poem.
Dickinson uses different literary techniques to create this reflective poem, including imagery, and symbolism. One example is the image of the fly, which is presented at first with auditory techniques. We hear it buzz before we actually see it. However, the fly is also a…