A Review of Emily Dickinson’s Poem

For I have but the power to kill, / Without- the power to die- (3-4) Emily Dickinson wrote in one of her poems, My Life had stood-, a Loaded Gun. She grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts where she wrote over a thousand stories in the comfort of her home. Born in 1830, Dickinson wrote about life using themes including death, nature, immortality, and more.

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According to Neil Scheurich at University of Kentucky College of Medicine, In other moods, however, Dickinson laments a kind of suffering that seems much more of the body, deadening creativity and draining the spirit. Dickinson attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in 1847 in a means of trying to get a better education but soon dropped out because she felt pressured by the church. Some say that this influenced her writing, but she was mostly inspired by observations and experiences in her life. She is often compared to Walt Whitman in that they were arguably two of the greatest poets in America throughout the 19th century. This shows that her writing impacted many lives especially because her poems are still prominent today. Four years following Dickinson’s death, her work started to expand nationwide due to her family discovering and promoting all of her 1,775 poems. Some of her most well-known poems include, but not limited to: Because I could not stop for Death, My Life had stooda Loaded Gun, I heard a Fly Buzzwhen I died, and much more. Emily Dickinson’s writing shows that death is inevitable.

Inevitability is common throughout Dickinson’s writing comparatively with her embracing the idea of death, instead of fearing it. Dickinson wrote, The Carriage held but just OurselvesAnd Immortality. (3-4) in one of her famous poems: Because I Could Not Stop For Death. From this, it is understood that Dickinson is accompanied by Death himself while in a ?carriage’. In other words, Dickinson is being transported by Death to the afterlife, but then she mentions immortality which concludes that Dickinson views Death as continuing with life, never-ending, and afterlife.

Considering Dickinson views death as an upholding thing, she often wrote poems about death as well as being alongside death.

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 –

From this, it was concluded that she is writing about hearing a fly buzz at her deathbed. This gives readers a sense of eeriness and somewhat confusion. She started off the poem with a basic comment of I heard a Fly buzz – (Dickinson 1) but then abruptly there was a pause, and she wrote, when I died -(Dickinson 1). Which wants the readers to know what happens next, which is what is so captivating about her writing.

With Blue – uncertain – stumbling Buzz –
Between the light – and me –
And then the Windows failed – and then
I could not see to see –

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A Review Of Emily Dickinson's Poem. (2019, Jul 03). Retrieved February 8, 2023 , from

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