How to peel and eat a poem in Specks: Fly
Unrequited. Unwelcome. Intruder. Have you experienced having an unwelcome admirer or rejecting an unwelcome love or been visited by an intruder in your life? That person becomes a fly that entered your home. The Speaker in the poem "Fly" on page 19 of Specks figures out how he/she should react in these situations despite the suggestion of hurting back the intruder, shaming the unwelcome attention, or highlighting the unrequited love. I believe, this poem should be read twice before it can be appreciated because the reader can figure out that the poem is not about flies but about love and unwelcome love only after going through the last paragraph.
The Speaker was advised to hurt the Fly which stands for the unwelcome giver of love or person in one's life. The Speaker does not want to hurt the person (the fly) because he/she can also choose to merely close the communication between them.
I should swat the fly at once, he said.
Why should I when I can just let it fly
away and close the window between us?
The Speaker explains that she wished the person to learn more about life and love. First thing the Speaker wanted the person to learn is that it is all right to settle to friendship in order to preserve the relationship rather than push on impossible romantic relationship.
I even wish the fly
to live long enough to learn things
like entering a window with the intent
of occupying the whole house
but then accepting that being welcomed
is an enough happy reason to stay,
The Speaker wanted the person to learn that it is wrong to intrude into another's life in the guise of giving happiness or joy but actually doing the same for the sake of intruding or for some selfish agenda.
like finding wrong in feeding on a plate
and buzzing happiness to the homeowner
but not actually meaning to love the meal
but to merely stir the homeowner,
The Speaker wanted the person to learn that in order that the person be respected of his/her space, he/she should respect the space of others.
like asking for freedom to fly
for itself but then being ready to fly around
respecting the spaces of others,
The last paragraph is where the reader can figure out that the poem is not about flies but it is about love. In the last paragraph, there is a shift to "love" so that we will know that the Speaker is not merely talking about a fly. Here, the Speaker, who turns out to be the owner of the house where the fly came in, explains that she can't kill (stands for hurting, embarrassing or shaming) the fly (the unrequited, the unwelcome, the intruder person) because the Speaker him/herself learned and experienced love enough for him/her to merely just leave that person alone rather than choosing to inflict shame, hurt or embarrassment to him/her.
because as a homeowner,
I have learned hard and loved enough
to keep myself from swatting a fly.