© 2015 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

CHECK OUT SHMOOP'S FREE STUDY TOOLS: Essay Lab | Math Shack | Videos

I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –

I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –


by Emily Dickinson

I heard a Fly buzz – when I died – Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Welcome to the land of symbols, imagery, and wordplay. Before you travel any further, please know that there may be some thorny academic terminology ahead. Never fear, Shmoop is here. Check out our...

Form and Meter

When you read this poem through, did you notice a certain smooth, even feeling to the lines? That’s because this is actually a really regular, rhythmic poem in some ways…but not in ever...


Since this speaker is talking about the moment when she (or he) died, it seems safe to assume that she is some kind of ghost or spirit. We think that the way she talks really drives this home. Do y...


So, Ms. Dickinson isn’t a lot of help with the setting. She tells us that we’re in a room, but not a lot else. OK, that’s not really fair. We know that we are looking at a deathbe...

Sound Check

We think this poem’s sound is ruled by those little dashes. We get bursts of sound, then a pause, then another burst. It’s like listening to someone flipping through stations on a radio...

What's Up With the Title?

Well, this poem doesn’t actually have a title. Dickinson didn’t publish her poems in her lifetime, and they were found in a drawer after her death, bound up in little handwritten books....

Calling Card

Emily Dickinson always sprinkles those funny dashes throughout her poems. As long as the editor left them in, it’s a pretty surefire way to tell it’s one of hers. Her poems also tend to...


This shouldn’t be too tough a climb. The main scene is pretty easy to get your head around. Keep an eye out, though, because some of these images are a little mysterious, and might mean more...

Brain Snacks

Sex Rating

What with the fly and all the dying and the crying, we think this poem is way unsexy.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Noodle's College Search
Noodle's College Search