By 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 –
Note to POL students: The inclusion or omission of the numeral in the title of the poem should not affect the accuracy score. It is optional during recitation.
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)
More By This Poet
The Poets light but Lamps — (930)
The Poets light but Lamps —
Themselves — go out —
The Wicks they stimulate
If vital Light
Inhere as do the Suns —
Each Age a Lens
How many times these low feet staggered (238)
How many times these low feet staggered -
Only the soldered mouth can tell -
Try - can you stir the awful rivet -
Try - can you lift the hasps of steel!
Stroke the cool forehead - hot so often -
Lift - if...
More Poems about Living
We gathered in a field southwest of town,
several hundred hauling coolers
and folding chairs along a gravel road
dry in August, two ruts of soft dust
that soaked into our clothes
and rose in plumes behind us.
By noon we could discern their massive coils
How to Triumph Like a Girl
I like the lady horses best,
how they make it all look easy,
like running 40 miles per hour
is as fun as taking a nap, or grass.
I like their lady horse swagger,
after winning. Ears up, girls, ears up!
But mainly, let’s be honest,...