Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Emily Dickinson "I'm Nobody! Who Are You?

This poem from Emily Dickinson is very interesting to me. This poem gives the reader an inside look on the way that she views the outside world and how much she values the peacefulness and tranquility that not being famous provides. Emily Dickinson lived a kind of reclusive lifestyle and this poem shows just that side of her.

The poem follows a rhyme scheme in each stanza, the first being AABC and the second being ABCB. The rhyme scheme is very particular and even odd to me. It is unique that she didn't continue the same rhyme scheme for both stanzas. Switching the rhyme scheme in longer poems I feel is a little more normal but a smaller poem it seems to create a separation or distinction between the two stanzas. She switches perspective in the stanzas and in the first focuses more on being a nobody and wanting to keep it that way while in the second she explains how unfortuante it must be to be a somebody (or famous). She seems to think that it would be a lot of unnecessary work to attempt to stay in the limelight all the time and have people know you. To do this you always have to be getting your name out there for people to know and here. She compares them to a frog which I find interesting because it isn't an animal you think of as being popular but you have to think of why you know frogs so well, it is because at night they are always croaking, which is a way to keep them in the minds of the people nearby which is her comparison of what famous people do. The use of the word bog is also interesting. She states to tell ones name to an admiring bog. Now she could be meaning the actual area that frogs live in which is funny because who would ever think of that area and what is in it as admiring something? But it definitely keeps the analogy alive. Howver, another meaning is to be overloaded with work or bogged down which I find intersting because it could have a double meaning showing that it is too much work and not worth it to be somebody. This poem also has a unique use of dashes, punctuation, and capital letters. I think she uses these tools to really isolate certain aspects or words of the poem in order to make you think of them on an individual level before integrating them into the rest of the poem. I think this is a really neat way to get your point across and get the poem read in the exact way you desire.

After reading this poem it makes me wonder although Emily Dickinson lead a very secluded life if she didn't actually long to have the spot light on her somewhat. To take the time to write such a poem means that the idea weighed on her mind. Kind of makes me think of the attitude people get a lot of times when they don't get things there way and say things like "I didn't want that anyway, I'd rather have this". She hardly had any of her poems published in her lifetime but she did have some. Was she scared of what people may think of them? Scared they wouldn't go over well? Did she not want to ruin a passion of hers by putting herself in the spotlight and a platform to fall from? These are some of the questions that this poem evoked for me.

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