Emily Dickinson and Me

“I’m Nobody! Who are you?

Are you nobody, too?

Then there’s a pair of us – don’t tell!

They’d banish us, you know!

How dreary to be somebody!

How public, like a frog

To tell your name the livelong June

To an admiring bog!”

Oh that Emily Dickinson. Say “poetry” to me and this one comes to mind, although I did have to research the actual poem.

Dickinson here sees herself as a nobody, apparently unaware that her works would be taught in high schools all over the United States after her death. Being “nobody” is situational. One can be invisible in some circumstances but shine in others. Easter dinner reminded me that my siblings are more boisterous than I am. But I live, work and thrive in noisier, more urban environments than they do. Maybe we’re all different kinds of somebodies at our own optimal times and places.

When two nobodies get together they are no longer nobodies because they matter to each other.

Emily Dickinson was kind of a recluse, not one of the loudly croaking frogs in the bog. But what if there was the internet in the late 1800s, and she was a blogger? She could physically remain apart from the world while publishing from the comfort of her Amherst, Massachusetts home.  Which seems practical given that Massachusetts is colder than where I am, and the one picture I’ve seen of her shows a fragile-looking woman with soaring talent.

Not a frog in a bog, but a bird on a blog.

While some people do interpretive dance and others might write scholarly commentary, here’s my interpretation of Emily Dickinson’s”Nobody:”

Nobody?On days when I feel invisible, I imagine myself peeking out from under the covers, then retreating back in.



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