A Comparison Michael F. Chapman Jr. After great pain, a formal feeling comes- and I heard a Fly buzz-when I died-The "I heard a Fly buzz-when I died poem is a poem of a solemn nature, talking about the last moments of one's life and the oddities or simple things that may comprise the last memories. It first talks of change in one's perception, the stillness, comparing it to the calm in the eye of the storm. When life is so busy that one rarely has the time or the want to listen to the small things.
Then there is the realization that the person is in the room with the "King" or creator of the person's belief, God as it may be and the end is even nearer. There is concentrated thought and distinct description of the last moments of life and the changes that take place in one's perception. The "After great pain, a formal feeling comes" poem also talks about the change in one's perception, but unlike the "I heard a Fly buzz-when I died" this poem describes the changes that one incurs as a result of a death. The poem talks of the snow and how at first there is the sight of it, like the first time you learn of the death. Then there is the chill or the realization and sadness that descends, and finally the letting go, falling to the ground which describes the acceptance that all who have experienced death must finally come to terms with so one can move on.
Both poems describe powerful thoughts and emotions associated with death and the changes with letting go of the "idea" of death, and finally coming to accept it. They show the need to move on, whether it is with life or the afterlife if one so believes. The powerful description helps to bestow the raw power that those emotions possess. The authors have helped us to come to terms with death by showing the "good", "peacefulness" of death and the tranquility that follows.