Reading Challenge: Emily Dickinson

Here is a reading challenge for the more advanced English speaker. The poem below is by Emily Dickinson.To understand what the poem is about you not only have to understand the words, but also the meaning behind them within the context of the poem. Why did the author use those words and what do they mean in that context? Let us know in a comment what you think the poem means. Enjoy the poem!


I Heard a Fly Buzz

                                                         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 portions 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 – 



2894    |   1