Subject I heard a Fly buzz when I died
Posted by Allison
Posted on Tue Nov 17 00:46:56 1998
From IP  

Journal ---
I heard a Fly buzz-- when I died
Allison 58 Nov. 15 1998

At the beginning, I loved this poem very much, because I thought it is very interesting. I guess it is the name of the poem that first attract my attention, especially the words "fly", and "died." Before I started to read the poem, I was just wondering that what kind of content it will be and what's the point of using such words in the poem.
In the first stanza, I guess the speaker uses the simile, because we can see the word "like" in the second sentence. The word "stillness" is contrast to the word "storm." Stillness can be the inner world of the speaker, because she is closer and closer to death, and storm may refer to her families, because they must feel shocked through her death. The atmosphere in her house may suddenly turn to cold, unhappy, and filled with strange feeling, just like the storm, which destroys the whole family.
In the second stanza, I think it describes the picture that she is going to die soon, because she mentions that "the king be witnessed." The king may be the symbol of God. To compare the word "God" with "king', both of them stand for power. Therefore, she uses the word" king" instead of the word "god". This must be metaphor. The use of "eyes" in the second sentence can represent the concern from their families. Maybe that she is going to lose her conscious, so everyone to her just left over eyes, and without body. The last word in the first sentence is "dry." Her families may have no more tears, because they've already known the result. And "dry" refers to their mood at final. It means that at the end they all hold a steady emotion.
In the third stanza, the speaker pictures a view about what she did. What she can assign to others are things, such as house, car, jewel, and some other personal things; all the things that belong to the human world. "There interposed a fly" especially refers to some things that don't belong to human world. In some fairy tales, when people are facing death, the first thing, which shows up in front of them, is often the angel. Of course, the angel can be explained as a kind, glorious symbol, and if the angle shows up in front of you, you may have a chance to follow her to heaven, and lead a happiness life there. Instead of the angles, "fly" is closer to the reality. When people are dead, their corpse will attract flies. This may make her pome rouse the readers' resonance.
In the last stanza, the speaker seems to mix her visional and hearing senses together. The color "blue" can be the vision, and the sound stumbling can be the hearing sense. I guess in this stanza, she had already dead. Then, "windows failed ", "windows" here are the symbol of her eyes. It also gives us the information of her death. In the last line, "I could not see to see, " the first see has the same meaning as the" window". Both of them stand for the physical eyes, and the second see stands for the soul. That is why she can write this poem after she died. The words "see" in the last line are contradiction. The physical will die one day no matter who you are, but the soul may be still alive forever.
I think the speaker's attitude toward death is different from normal people. Most of people are afraid of death, because they think that death must be the end of the live. I guess the speaker wants to advocate a new idea that although your body will die one day, your soul may go on forever. Therefore, we don't have to worry and fear about death, because no one can escape from it.

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