Cathy Chester | An Empowered Spirit

How Emily Dickinson Taught Me The Power Of Love And Being A Nobody

I’m thinking about someone today that I love and miss, someone who sent me many poems including this funny little one by Emily Dickinson. I loved it then and I love it now. It makes me smile. I learned there’s nothing wrong in being a nobody. Don’t you agree?
Emily Dickinson love
I’m nobody! Who are you?
Emily Dickinson love
Are you nobody, too?
Then there ’s a pair of us — don’t tell!
Emily Dickinson love
They’d banish us, you know.
How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog.
Emily Dickinson love
To tell your name the livelong day,
To an admiring bog! ~~Emily Dickinson
I love Emily Dickinson. My parents once gave me one of my favorite gifts – the complete poems of Emily Dickinson. Who is your favorite poet?


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31 thoughts on “How Emily Dickinson Taught Me The Power Of Love And Being A Nobody

  1. Karen D. Austin

    I like Emily Dickinson, too. “These are the days when birds come back” and “There is a certain slant of light” as well as “There is no frigate like a book” are among my favorites. Thanks for putting her poem to beautiful photos! I haven’t read “I am nobody! Who are you?” for a loooong time.
    Karen D. Austin recently posted…Grateful for AgingMy Profile

    1. Post author

      I would never match wits with you about literature, Karen! Not that I haven’t read any, it’s just I can’t always remember them all. I am amazed at your recall. But I do love Emily and loved this short funny one.

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! I really enjoyed reading your comments. Here’s to our love of reading poetry!

  2. Roz Warren

    I don[t know why, but that little poem always creeped me out. Who wants to be nobody? Of course I don’t want to be a public frog either. Surely there’s a middle ground?

    1. Post author

      I don’t know why it “creeped you out” Roz because I think it’s about friendship and community and that’s why I like it so much.

      I think there’s more than meets the eye to this seemingly simple poem. But I respect your opinion, as always!

  3. Risa

    Thanks for sharing this. One of my favorites was given to me by a dear family friend when I was quite a bit younger, wishing I would hurry and grow up already. By Edna St. Vincent Millay


    Was it for this I uttered prayers,
    And sobbed and cursed and kicked the stairs,
    That now, domestic as a plate,
    I should retire at half-past eight?
    Risa recently posted…Martha, My DearMy Profile

    1. Post author

      Ha! That’s a good one, Risa. I like that.

      I clearly remember one day sitting in our house staring at my (then) young son, trying to imagine what he’d look like when he got older. Then I thought – don’t push time! Your poem just reminded me of that day. Wish I could go back sometimes!

  4. Helene Cohen Bludman

    I think sometimes there is comfort in being a nobody since there are no expectations. I imagine that celebrities who can’t walk down the street without being accosted by paparazzi wish sometimes they could be nobodies. Thanks for sharing this, Cathy. Did you ever see The Belle of Amherst? I saw it on Broadway years ago when Julie Harris starred. Now it is back on Broadway with Joely Richardson.

    1. Post author

      I completely agree with you, Lisa. As a nobody we can make our mistakes in private. I’d hate to be in the public’s eye. But it’s also about friendship and community, so it goes back to how happy I am about our friendship! xo

  5. Transitioning Mom

    I just started the first line of that poem, and my daughter repeated the rest by heart. There’s something about knowing I’ve introduced her and her sister to great literature that makes me feel like I did OK as a homeschooling mom.
    Transitioning Mom recently posted…Wasted HoursMy Profile

  6. doreenb8

    I love Emily! I mentor a couple of high school students and one of them is a talented poet and wants to make that her career some how. Its been a bit of a challenge to steer her into the right direction but we had the greatest conversation on this poem yesterday.
    And here it is again today…
    doreenb8 recently posted…Caregiving and StressMy Profile

  7. Donna

    Edna St. Vincent Millay…my candle burns at both ends, it won’t last the night, but oh my friends and oh my foes, it gives a lovely light

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