I’m Nobody! Who are you? Poem by Emily Dickinson Summary, Notes and Line by Line Explanation in English


“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:

Stanza 1:

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.

Stanza 2:

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.