Review Of 'I'm Nobody! Who Are You?'
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Thesis Statement: Emily Dickinson poem, "I'm Nobody! Who Are You?", is successful on influencing readers that the best ideas can come from nothing.
Introduction: I chose this as one of the famous poet's known poem, which is found at Chapter 10.1, entitled: "The Speaker (Persona) in a Poem." It can also be found from Thomas H. Johnson's (1960) Book of "Complete Poems" as its 288th entry: "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!"
What about the poem's form, language, content, or other dimension do you find engaging?: I find engaging its genre of lyrical form, English language using informal diction and bearing a very good rhyme scheme ("o" sound in lines 1 and 2 with "g" in 6 and 8) with 2 stanzas. The theme shows how one can find the identity of self and gather the best ideas can come from only doing nothing. It uses the simile and metaphor figure of speeches, because it was able to compare or equate unlike things in similarity ("Nobody" vs "Famous" persons) and used the word "like" in line 6 in the second stanza. Moreover, to dissect the poem, when the word "they" was mentioned in line 4, wherein the poet was pertaining to famous people or any person situated in high levels the of society (Essay on Emily dickinson "i am nobody! who are you?" para. 1). With a very short content of only 8 lines, Dickinson was able to quickly reach out to others who would want to have the same privacy she experienced and also gain fruitful outcomes from this choice. Doing this is actually not seen as usual in famous persons or high level situated bodies.
How does the poem's use of language compare to that of everyday speech?: I can say that in terms of both modern and classic writing on poetry, it still uses informal diction, though there certainly will be a difference in the use of words if one can write it today. To site a modern view on Dickinson's way of writing in the "I'm Nobody! Who Are You?" poem, Jessica Writes (2007) wrote an online essay saying that, it is evident here that she is referring to a friend that she had relationships kept in private, but were foretold mostly by her corresponding letters. Indeed she is successful in her field. Wherein, she was productive during times she was alone, nursing the gardens inside their yard, writing poetry and reading. Since, she preferred to be named as an anonymous poet to her poems; it shows a personal assessment as "A Nobody" in the society, being a direct reflection of ideals as a non-conformist to the society. Its psychological nature are greatly affecting to people and objects geared towards seeing themselves in this way in life. With today's social pressures, even the smallest poem can help. Back in the old days, wherein classic literature are given birth to, renaissance and revolutions are greatly affected with writers who seek for a new beginning and freedom thru their writing skills.
How do the differences and/or similarities between speech and poetic form affect your experience of the poem?: Domhnall Mitchell (2000), a very good critic of literature, mentioned in his book, that the poem "I'm Nobody! Who Are You?" is a form of confessional poetry. Wherein, I agree with this thought. That is why it uses the simile and metaphor figure of speeches, because it was able to compare or equate unlike things in similarity, which is the Dickinson and akin others being the "Nobody" type of persons judged against the "Famous" type of persons (who would not likely to favor practices of a "Nobody.") At first, a reader would have taught that Dickinson was talking about herself, but there is a quick turn of mood when the poem becomes about the reader. I find this interesting. This can be seen after the 1 line was said, which is a statement about Dickinson's poetic self, and then there is a following string of questions pertaining to the reader's own selves. Lastly, the poems 2 immediate concerns are: the readers asking who we are, as well as the how is the relationship existing between the reader and the poet (pp. 157-158).
Do these differences and/or similarities influence how you think or feel about the subject matter of the poem?: In terms of familiarity, I can say that this poem is reflective of Dickinson's life and not the persons she sites in her poem. It is more personal in nature. For instance, Arthur Versluis (2001), another very good critic of literature in history, mentioned the opinion of John Cody, in his own book, that her works are pronouncing of her madness as a result. That is why the poem, "I'm Nobody! Who Are You?", has certain negativity touch on it. It was also quoted, "one will inevitably misunderstand and trivialize much of Emily Dickinson's life and poetry if one fails to grasp the full intensity of her suffering and the magnitude of her collapse. For this reason let me state at the onset my thesis that the crisis Emily Dickinson suffered following the marriage of her brother was a psychosis" (p. 175).
Conclusion: Yes, I agree that the best ideas can come from nothing. You can occupy your time with writing poetries like what Emily Dickinson is known for during her time. Yet, even if one decides a secluded life, society will hunt. Dickinson's writes in such a way that she dictates and forces the reader's mind to think the same and view society like her opinion. The advantage I can see here is that it is leading to a self-evaluation and growth in uniqueness as individuals. On the other hand, a disadvantage of her way of writing (as well as thinking) is that it fails to show the right personality for an individual. When, maturity takes place, when one knows his or her purpose in life, then the best ideas can come in, one can make fruitful outcomes and one can reach success. Even the quietest moments or disturbing scenes takes self-confidence and trust, a parallel thought to both being a "Nobody" and a "Famous" person.
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