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"I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died"

By: Emily Dickinson

Farrah Abboushi

on 26 February 2013

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Transcript of "I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died"

Second Interpretation
of Title The fly is important because it represents the process of the speaker's death.

The Fly had a greater meaning than we first imagined, it represented Death, or The Devil. "I Heard a Fly Buzz
When I Died" Theme Family:
When Dickinson talks about the "Eyes" around the dying speaker, the auidence imagines these are her loved ones.
She also gives away her "Keepsakes." The ritual of leaving a will is all about family and friends.
The idea of the bonds of family is a big part of what holds this poem together. Structure/Rhyme Scheme The poem uses an iambic meter. Farrah Abboushi
June Paek Poetry Presentation First Examination of Title History of Genre Emily Dickinson Paraphrasing the Poem Attitude Connotation First stanza.
The narrator is dying when she hears the buzz of a fly.

Around her death bed, the narrator’s family is quiet and still due to their expectations of her death.

The quietness in the room was just like the quietness before a storm. "last onset" --> an oxymoron. "onset" means a beginning, and "last" means an end. For Christians, death is the beginning of eternal life.

"The King"--> can symbolize God, Christ, or death; think about which reading you prefer and why.

"Eyes Beside" --> Representing the family of the narrator

""Windows failed" --> symbolizing eyes, which are the windows to the soul.

"Fly" --> Death, The Devil

"Blue" --> adds a depressing mood as well as sadness

Simile & Foreshadowing --> "The stillness round my form was like the stillness in the air between the heaves of storm"

Personification--> "breaths were gathering sure"

Imagery--> "With blue, uncertain, stumbling buzz" acceptance

solemn tone

Death is unavoidable

Death can be viewed as a peaceful and a relief

it is as if the speaker knows that death will come eventually and is very calm about it Emily Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830, in the town of Amherst, Massachusetts.

Her family were pillars of the local community; their house known as “The Homestead”

She attended 7 years at Amherst Academy. Her education was competitive compared to the rest of the country, but not within Amherst.

The town of Amherst was having many religious revivals at the time. The deaths of family and friends left Emily pondering about the afterlife.

Between the ages of 25 to 35 she had wrote 1100 poems, and she began to bind them into notebooks.

She had a short romance with Otis Phillips Lord, a friend of her father.

Due to her discomfort and shyness in social situations, Emily gradually reduced her social contacts, going out less and less into society.

Emily Dickinson died at the age of 55 from Bright’s disease. Her doctor suggested that the accumulation of stress throughout her life contributed to her premature death. ROMANTICISM 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. We found the title to be misleading because the first clause "I heard a fly buzz" did not prepare us for the second clause "when I died".

We did not comprehend why the buzz of the fly was significant to even mention. Video: defining characteristics of Romantic poetry shown:
glorification of the individual
celebration of emotion
instinct above reason and intellect
reverence for nature
person's experience of the natural world amounts to a religious experience http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xs8a1r_emily-dickinson-biographical-sketch_creation#.USanjLQm9UR Morality:
Dickinson uses the poem to explore all the aspects of death. She examines how it might feel, how it happens, and what we expect from it.
She looks at the idea from various different angles – before, during, and after the moment of death.
Then, maybe tries to get us to think about death in new ways. Man and the Natural World:
Dickinson spends a lot of time on that fly during the poem. It’s the main symbol and one of the main characters in the poem.
this is a poem about how humans relate to the natural world.
Some questions that would then follow are, Do you hate bugs? Does that change the way you read the poem? The answers depend on the individual. Thus making the affect of the fly alter for each individual.
The fly can be analyzed as an innocent part of the natural world that happened to be in the room at the time or the Devil or even death itself. Work Cited Second Stanza
Her family’s eyes had cried so much, that they could cry no more. They have accepted the narrator’s unavoidable death.

Their breaths revealed their expectancy for her near death.

“The last onset,” which is an oxymoron, means "the last beginning," and symbolizes her new beginning in heaven.

God "the king" shows his power by taking away the narrator’s life. Third Stanza
The narrator gave away her belongings in a will. She assigns away all her possessions.

Then, the fly interrupts her contemplation of death.

The fly is an intruder that interrupted the calmness of the moment. Fourth Stanza

“blue buzz” was used to represent the tranquility of the moment which foreshadows the nearness of heaven.

The fly interrupts the light of heaven and the reality of death in which the narrator is facing.

Finally, the narrator’s eyes close, symbolizing her inevitable death. http://voices.yahoo.com/analysis-emily-dickinsons-heard-fly-buzz-when-2124865.html



http://www.gradesaver.com/emily-dickinsons-collected-poems/study-guide/section3/ Shift In the beginning she is dead

then goes onto discuss the rest of her memories

her death is brought up again at the end. Sound Device(Rhyme) -->"Between the light and me; I could not see to see"
Full transcript