Emily Dickinson the frog that left the bog. Biography of Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) Emily was an American lyrical poet, and an obsessively private writer
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the frog that left the bog
Biography of Emily Dickinson
Emily was an American lyrical poet, and an obsessively private writer
Emily was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, the daughter of a lawyer. She was educated at Amherst Academy (1834-47) and Mount Holyoake (1847-8).
In her early years she appears to have been a bright and sociable young scholar, but in her twenties she began to withdraw from the outside world.
By her forties she had become a complete recluse, refusing to leave her house and shunning all contact with strangers.
A mystic by inclination, she wrote much in secret, producing almost two thousand poems, only seven of which are known to have been published in her lifetime.
I'm Nobody! Who are you?
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!
is the best remedy for a feeling of exclusion.
Emily makes a simile of society and
a frog in a bog.
Frogs make a lot of noise. The poem says that frogs, though they can croak and make themselves heard and be noticed, are noticed only by "an admiring bog.“
The bog is the frog's environment, not the frog's friend. So why would the frog care what the bog thinks of it? Emily is mocking the socialites she left behind as she retreated into solitude.
At school, being popular sometimes seems like the most important thing in the world. We often think that being the center of attention would be fantastic — like being a famous movie star or athlete. As an outsider, a "nobody," the speaker is not forced to be "public." She does not have to face the scrutiny or disapproval of other people. She does not have to play games, put on an act, or keep trying in order to be a somebody. She can be herself and be comfortable.
What's more, she is not alone.
There are other people like her — other "nobodies“. She realizes that having a friend who understands you and accepts you as you are is more important than being admired by a lot of people or being in the "in" crowd.
That's what the poem says about being a "somebody" who gets noticed by an admiring public. Frequently, the relationship is impersonal and distanced, not like a real friendship. “Somebodys” may have many admirers, but are not be able to make those personal connections that real friendship offers.