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“I’m Nobody! Who are you?” is a poem written by Emily Dickinson. It is a short and succinct poem that brings out the poet’s thoughts on one’s self.
About the Poet:
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) was a notable American poet. She is known for her often bold writing style. Famous works of hers include ‘“Hope” Is The Thing With Feathers’, ‘I Taste A Liquor Never Brewed’, and ‘Success Is Counted Sweetest’.
This poem is divided into 2 stanzas consisting of 4 lines each. It follows an irregular rhyme.
Explanation of the Stanzas:
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!
The poem begins with the persona declaring that they are a “nobody” and asks the listener, the reader, if they are the same. Happy that both of them are not well-known, the persona warns the listener to keep it that way else “they” would “advertise” and they would become known by the world.
How dreary – to be – Somebody! How public – like a Frog – To tell one’s name – the livelong June – To an admiring Bog!
The persona further explains why they prefer anonymity in this stanza. They find it “dreary” to be known as “Somebody”. They compare it to being a “Frog” who sings loudly, watching a bog.
This is a thought-provoking poem. It critiques attention-mongers and reveals how being anonymous is preferable.