Student: Joyce Chen
Student number: 485220526
"I heard a fly buzz-when I died"
Why did I choose this poem to my second journal topic, there was an interesting reason. About few
weeks ago, I went to the store and rent one new-published comic, which is my favorite. In the comic,
there was a character that was dying and the author described that scene just as this poem! This
character, a journalist, he was killed by the killers from government, but he had so many uncomplicated
things and missions to do! He was not willing to die before the Old Kingdom was destroyed. At that
time, he saw a fly, buzz around him. This moment has really impressed me. Of course, there were many
differences with this poem, but what really interests me is the familiar way to express and describe the
scene of the death. Well, maybe this Japanese comic author had read E. Dickenson's poems...^^
This poem is really what I called "queer". At the beginning, I didn't find that the speaker of this poem
uses "past tense". After I found it, I felt amazing because it means that the speaker was "dead" at that
moment! It means that this poem was according to the "memory" from the moment when the speaker
was dying. The word "fly" means that the speaker was dead and her body was "flying", her soul was
"flying" now. The scene was just like what you have seen in the funeral. The air, the body was still, but
there were storms in the speaker's mind. You can image that the location was in a room, which there
were people crying and around the speaker. (According to the fifth stanza, it said that their eyes around
had "wrung" them dry.) What I feel here is that the speaker wasn't like those people around her, it seems
that she didn't care much about her death. Everyone's breath was firm and waiting for the death coming.
See they were waiting for the last onset, what a powerful description! Then, the speaker said that she
willed her keepsakes and signed away what portion of her is assignable, but I think that the speaker
required us to mention what was not "assignable", what she could not sign away. That was her soul!
There was one thing that interested me. The King here was the symbol of God. He saw this process
and this "ceremony" going on, but he was only the "witness", he wasn't the "judge"! It implied to me that
there was "someone" else to judge the deaths?
In the final part, the fly interrupted and interjected this processing. Originally speaking, fly is the
symbol of decay because the dead body will attract flies. At this moment, the speaker paid attention
to this fly, so she can describe its sound and its stumbling, uncertain buzz. The light was the illumination
from the heaven. Then, the windows failed. Were those windows really failed? I don't think so. We often
said that eyes are the windows of soul. Here, it means that the speaker's eyes were closed, her vision
sense was ended. That's why she could not see to see.
I quite like this poem because it gives me a kind of unique way to think about death. The speaker
made use of a fly to show what she felt, what she saw at that moment. Just as what we had learned
from reading short stories, the point of view in this poem was really unusual for me. ^^