I'm Nobody! Who are you? (260)
by Emily Dickinson
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!
How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one's name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!
This poem addresses the theme of outsiders and conformists. Dickinson is excited at the possibility that there may be another "outsider"--one whom she thinks of as more interesting than the people who conform and become just another "somebody" who is pushed and pressured into acting a certain way for the approval of the masses. How "dreary" and "public" to be one of these who are trying so hard to be liked and to be clones of everyone else living their lives in a fishbowl of judgement. She compares this life to living in a box like a frog, forced to do someone else's bidding, or at the very least tell your name over and over to the admiring crowd..."bog"...which has such a negative, muddy, sticky connotation. Almost as if the crowd were a swamp that one can't quite manage to get off one's shoes.
How much more wonderful to live life on the outside of all that...free of judgement and possibly "advertisement" if you live quietly enough. Free to do what you want, express yourself the way you like, think and be who you ARE not what others expect you to be.