Monday, May 17, 2010

Tuesday Poem: "I'm Nobody!"

I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you - Nobody - too?
Then there's a pair of us!
Don't tell! they'd advertise - you know!

How dreary - to be Somebody!
How public - like a Frog -
To tell one's name - the livelong June -
To an admiring Bog!

--Emily Dickinson

I never get tired of this poem! If Dickinson was told to be sparing of exclamation points, she did not obey!

Tuesday Poem is a community of poets!


  1. I'm delighted! Did you know? Are you - delighted - too? Then there's a pair of us!

    Hey it's fun to throw those exclamation and question marks around... might have a little play (Thanks Mim).

  2. This is one of my favourite ED poem's, too, MIm. She could be so audacious!

    Another favourite few lines are these 'Much madness is divinest sense to a discerning eye; much sense, the starkest madness... '

    Thank you. (And bring on those exclamation marks!)
    C x

  3. This has to be one of my childhood, favourites too, Miriam. I know it off by heart. It has such a resonance especially when I'm feeling down.

  4. Here's to audacity!

    It's ironic to post this poem on a blog (bog), but don't we all contradict ourselves?

  5. And her act of disobedience is our gain. How rambunctious! I can almost feel the change of tone in 'Don't tell! they'd advertise - you know!'. That should be recited in a whisper, in contrast with previous lines.

    Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  6. Thank the Big Bog she was Nobody long enough to be Somebody; of course she was never really Nobody, except to the Somebodies of her day who are now mostly Nobodies, or are Somebody because they related to her Nobodiness in some small way.

  7. Cuban, You catch the shift in tone. It's almost as if she's alive, speaking, then coming close to whisper in our ear--the most intimate of poets

    LentenStuffe: I'm follow your frisky riff!

  8. Yes - but I find myself suddenly caught by the idea of telling my name to an admiring Bog!

  9. Signs,

    An admiring bog wouldn't be so bog-like, would it?

  10. 此處是值得一探究竟的好部落格!!........................................

  11. To tell the truth; poems always put me under pressure. I always expect not to understand the point, they're about, and so I'm stressed in a way from the beginning on. I think it s because there are only a few word written, and so the fallacy comes to my mind, that each word is like a thousand words and I instantly collapse.
    I wish this would be different. Well sometimes it is. But I experience this over and over again.

  12. This was the first poem I ever memorized. I was fourteen and felt that finally I was not utterly on my own. I love how repeating this poem out loud brings me back to the joy of that long ago discovery. Thank you for posting this.

  13. Smilla: Your anxiety about poems may come from the poor instructions of bad teachers who urged you to look for "symbols" and deep meaning. I hope you will treat poems as you do songs.

    Susan, I share your experience!