28 February 2013
Emily Dickinson's "I'm Nobody, Who are you?"
Emily Dickinson's "I'm Nobody, Who are you?" is a poem about a person who is a nobody and does not want to become a somebody. The nobody sees another person and asks them if they're a nobody too. She tells them that they should not tell others that they are nobodies because the others do not like nobodies and they tend to exclude them from society. They talk about how dreary it is to be a somebody because they always have to let those around them know who they are. She says they are like a frog whose croaking let's everything around it know its name. Dickinson uses the pronouns "you" and "us" to get the reader to feel like they are a part the poem and it also gets them to see what a somebody looks like from a nobody's point of view. Dickinson uses a dash, which she is known to use in most of her poems, to emphasize her thoughts on what it's like to be a nobody and a somebody. "I'm nobody, Who are you?" is one of Dickinson's most popular poems that was first published in 1891 in a series of poems she wrote called Poems, Series 2, which was assembled and edited by Mabel Loomis Todd and Thomas Wentworth Higginson.
1. Who are these "somebodies" Dickenson is talking about? 2. Why does Dickenson say that a somebody is like a frog? Why not like another animal? 3. Is Dickinson really talking about the world that we live in? 4. Do you think that the nobody is really Dickinson herself and she telling us what she thinks of a somebody? 5. If you were in this "nobody" and "somebody" world, would you prefer to be a nobody or a somebody?