Topics: Poetry, Stanza, Tercet Pages: 4 (1468 words) Published: December 3, 2013
Just some general first impressions/notes on Dickinson's poems.

"I heard a fly buzz - When I died"

Macabre tone. The poem could mean one of two things: Either she is at someone's funeral and seeing a fly or there is a fly buzzing as she herself is on her deathbed.

The room itself is "as still as the air" between the "heaves" of a storm. People around her crying presumably represent the "heaves of a storm" breaking the stillness. The eyes around her had cried themselves out, and the breaths were firming themselves for “that last Onset,” the moment when, metaphorically, “the King / Be witnessed—in the Room—.” The speaker made a will and “Signed away / What portion of me be / Assignable—” and at that moment, she heard the fly. The last paragraph describes her final moments, before she "could not see to see"

Like most of her poems from what I've seen, the form consists of 3 stanzas with 4 lines in each. The entire poem struck this odd note with me, how Dickinson is at one of, if not the most important moment in her life, and instead she focuses on meaningless, minute details. Perhaps this is a commentary on how we all focus on the meaningless details to escape important scenarios.

"Hope is the thing with feathers"
This poem is rather simple in comparison to the previous poem. Three stanzas with 4 lines in each. Dickinson describes hope as a "thing with feathers" i.e. a bird, that perches in the soul. ” and it would require a terrifying storm to ever “abash the little Bird / That kept so many warm.” The speaker says that she has heard the bird of hope “in the chillest land— / And on the strangest Sea—”, but never, no matter how extreme the conditions, did it ever ask for a single crumb from her. This poem uses the "bird" metaphor constantly. There is some possible religious symbolism in this piece, the concept of birds representing souls has been referenced vaguely in some Psalms etc.

"I could bring you Jewels"
I had absolutely no idea what...
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