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“I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died”
By Emily Dickinson
Is death nothingness? If so, is it ironic that we hear the
poem’s speaker rely the experience of death to its
readers?
What do you make of the idea that the eyes no longer
see, but consciousness continues enough for the
speaker to communicate this experience of death?
Comment on Dickinson’s use of her imagination in this
poem? Is this poem’s message one of faith or
spirituality, assuming there is a difference?

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I heard a fly buzz when i died.

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  • 24. Is death nothingness? If so, is it ironic that we hear the poem’s speaker rely the experience of death to its readers? What do you make of the idea that the eyes no longer see, but consciousness continues enough for the speaker to communicate this experience of death? Comment on Dickinson’s use of her imagination in this poem? Is this poem’s message one of faith or spirituality, assuming there is a difference?

Editor's Notes

  1. Mourners surround dying person.
  2. Close up of a fly. What might be the symbolism of a fly in this poem?
  3. Onomatopoeia
  4. Woman on deathbed surrounded by mourners
  5. Crying eyes
  6. Holding breath
  7. Mourners await death
  8. Christian representation of the lord our God and king
  9. Time of death
  10. keepsakes
  11. Last will and testament
  12. The light
  13. Empty deathbed
  14. Windows as metaphor for the eyes
  15. Death is like a light going out
  16. Is death nothingness? If so, is it ironic that we hear the poem’s speaker rely the experience of death to its readers? What do you make of the idea that the eyes no longer see, but consciousness continues enough for the speaker to communicate this experience of death? Comment on Dickinson’s use of her imagination in this poem? Is this poem’s message one of faith or spirituality, assuming there is a difference.