Emily Dickinson

(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886 / Amherst / Massachusetts)

Dying (I heard a fly buzz when I died)


I heard a fly buzz when I died;
The stillness round my form
Was like the stillness in the air
Between the heaves of storm.
The eyes beside had wrung them dry,
And breaths were gathering sure
For that last onset, when the king
Be witnessed in his power.
I willed my keepsakes, signed away
What portion of me I
Could make assignable, -- and then
There interposed a fly,

With blue, uncertain, stumbling buzz,
Between the light and me;
And then the windows failed, and then
I could not see to see.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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  • Gold Star - 10,383 Points John Westlake (10/18/2014 3:26:00 AM)

    It is possible that the fly mentioned on this poem is death itself. Flies are often associated with death so in a strange way this actually works for me. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 10,383 Points Princess Dawson (7/29/2009 11:11:00 AM)

    The fly in this poem seems to be the door way to death. I think she is holding on for the King big event and then she is free to die or to not see has she has seen too clearly in the past. (Report) Reply

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