9 October 2014
The Many Sides of Death
The world has forever struggled to understand the complex and thoughtful mind of the poet Emily Dickinson. For most of her life she remained a recluse, isolated from society, and left to do what she loved to do, which was write. Dickinson witnessed a lot of hardships in her later years, including the deaths of many family members and friends. Witnessing so much death in her lifetime sparked her interest in the concept of mortality, and it appears as a major theme in many of her poems. Dickinson seemed to have many different ideas about the subject of death. Three poems that represent these ...view middle of the document...
” The words “gossamer” and “tulle” refer to light and delicate fabrics. Since she does not have on very warm clothing, she starts to grow cold later on in the poem. She was not able to dress warmly to prepare for Death’s arrival. The cold that the narrator feels also symbolizes how a person’s body grows cold after they die. During the last part of the poem, the narrator and Death reach the afterlife, which is depicted as a “House.” This “House” seems to show that the narrator has reached her true home where she belongs and that life was just a passing through to get there. “I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died” paints a different picture of death. This poem does not say much about an afterlife. It mainly focuses on the process of dying. The narrator in this poem, in contrast with the previous poem, knows that death is coming, and she is waiting for it to arrive. She is surrounded by family who have cried so much that their eyes are “wrung dry.” This poem emphasizes the emptiness, stillness, and sadness that comes with death. The only sound that can be heard is of a fly buzzing. The buzzing of the fly was used to signify the quietness when everyone in the room was waiting for the narrator’s death. The only sound that could be heard was of a fly buzzing. As the narrator gets closer to death, she sees the King in the room with her. The King is most likely that of Christ come to take her. Lines seven and eight say, “For that last Onset-When the King/ Be witnessed in the room.” Although she sees the Christ the moment that she dies, she does not seem to see him for very long. At the end of the poem, she says, “And then the windows failed and then I could not see to see.” The narrator uses the windows closing as a metaphor for her eyes shutting. The second use of the word “see” explains that the narrator does not simply lose her earthly eyesight, but she becomes eternally blind. Another poem that represents death in different manner is “I felt a Funeral, in my Brain.” This poem depicts an internal death rather than a physical one. In this poem, the narrator is using funeral events to explain the pain and anguish she feels inside. The first stanza of the poem tells of throbbing feeling that the narrator has in her head. Lines two, three, and four say, “And Mourners to and fro/ Kept...