I heard a Fly buzz - when I died - (591)

By Emily Dickinson 1830–1886 Emily Dickinson
I heard a Fly buzz - when I died -
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air -
Between the Heaves of Storm -

The Eyes around - had wrung them dry -
And Breaths were gathering firm
For that last Onset - when the King
Be witnessed - in the Room -

I willed my Keepsakes - Signed away
What portion of me be
Assignable - and then it was
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 -

Emily Dickinson, “I Heard a Fly buzz—when I died” from The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson, edited by Thomas H. Johnson. Copyright 1945, 1951, ©1955, 1979, 1983 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. Reprinted with the permission of The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Source: The Poems of Emily Dickinson Edited by R. W. Franklin (Harvard University Press, 1999)

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Poet Emily Dickinson 1830–1886

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Religion, Living, Death, Christianity, God & the Divine

Poetic Terms Common Measure

 Emily  Dickinson

Biography

A poet who took definition as her province, Emily Dickinson challenged the existing definitions of poetry and the poet’s work. Like writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman, she experimented with expression in order to free it from conventional restraints. Like writers such as Charlotte Brontë and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, she crafted a new type of persona for the first person. The speakers in . . .

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Poems by Emily Dickinson

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, Living, Death, Christianity, God & the Divine

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Common Measure

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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