Treasure Island

Emily Dickinson

(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886 / Amherst / Massachusetts)

I'm nobody! Who are you?


I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us -- don't tell!
They'd banish -- you know!

How dreary to be somebody!
How public like a frog
To tell one's name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

Submitted: Tuesday, May 15, 2001
Edited: Monday, May 02, 2011

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  • John Paul (6/24/2013 5:04:00 AM)

    I was approached by an ESL student and asked what does this mean?

    To tell one's name the livelong day
    To an admiring bog!

    I was baffled at first! then with quick analysis. I assumed It was perhaps famous, maybe even well to do (rich, snorty nosed) people given the time it was wrote.
    Maybe even a person bragging all day (livelong day) whom they are!
    And the people looking in admiration, stupid/low people (hence bog) . Not worthing themselves! giving credit to others.
    They should forget them and admire themselves!
    I think Nobody is an inapropiate word to use. She is somebody just not a famous somebody! (Report) Reply

  • John Paul (6/24/2013 5:02:00 AM)

    I was approached by an ESL student and asked what does this mean?

    To tell one's name the livelong day
    To an admiring bog!

    I was baffled at first! then with quick analysis. I assumed It was perhaps famous, maybe even well to do people given the time it was wrote.
    Maybe even a person bragging all day (livelong day) whom they are!
    And the people looking in admiration, stupid/low people (hence bog) . Not worthying themselves! giving credit to others.
    We should forget them and admire ourselves!
    I think Nobody is an inapropiate word to use. We are somebody just not a famous somebody! (Report) Reply

  • Gemini Featherstone (1/12/2009 8:04:00 PM)

    This poem really gives you the outsider's point of view. I love her similes, too! It's true-if you admit that you''re nobody, people really will mark you for it. It's a terrible truth, but I love her mindset in this poem; that she's Nobody, but she thinks that it would be 'dreary to be Somebody! ' By the way, Emily-I'm Nobody too! :) (Report) Reply

  • Dmitriy Kokarev (2/23/2008 7:22:00 AM)

    I think this is one of the very few timeless poems that in very few lines capture a really big point and deliver the message...
    Her fascination with remaining unique and not wanting to blend into the society (bog) is still very much applicable now...
    Great piece by a Great Poet! ! (Report) Reply

  • Brianna Edler (1/5/2008 7:21:00 PM)

    There was two ways I believe that she wrote this...
    the way above and this way...
    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 day
    To an admiring bog! (Report) Reply

  • Samah Mcgona (5/10/2006 2:03:00 PM)

    The words are differnet because we are learning the poem now and I'm pretty sure the one in our english book says some thing differen. still a lovely poem though
    xxooxxo (Report) Reply

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