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!

by Emily Dickinson

Comments (10)

I enjoy elegiac verses... but this is the first I've read of Emerson. I quite liked it!
To die for beauty, than live for bread. Quest for beauty can be deadly too and it's realization! Great poem.
I too am a huge fan of Emerson. I don't think this is a particularly good representation though. The writing is pretty good, but the content is not especially representative of his ideas. His ideas about beauty are better expressed elsewhere. Here, as I read it, he's putting himself in the shoes of Seyd (Said, or Saadi) and expressing a viewpoint that's not exactly his own. It's less nuanced and much narrower than what he says elsewhere speaking for himself. That said, I think he marvelously captures the transitory and fleeting aspect of beauty that so entrances and bedevils his narrator. Beauty here is not anything that can be captured and hung on to. It is evanescent, to attracts variously through all the senses but then dissipates and disappears. There is no way to own it, to keep it and pore one's adulations upon it without work and effort to capture it anew each time. It is that endless questing after, that active pursuit of beauty that drives the life of the narrator. It nourishes him in a spiritual way that life-giving force of food never can. It's very well written, it's just not entirely indicative of Emerson's own philosophy of aesthetics and beauty.
he thought it happier to be dead to die for beauty, than live for bread Wow! Emerson at his best. I have read many of his essays and whenever I manage to read Emerson, I discover a whole world hidden in his texts. My own favorite, and strong recommendation: the American scholar and divinity school address. Masterpieces of wisdom! . Circles, the oversoul, and of course his mos famous one, compensation. All are available for free on the internet. You got this message from an Emerson fan.
a wonderful poem of true enlightenment? bravo writing at it's best.
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