Friday, 19 August 2011
And poetry - part 2
I listened to the Radio 4 'Great Lives' about Emily Dickinson today (it's here if listening to the BBC is something your location allows you to do). Programmes about Emily D are always heartening for those of us not succeeding too hugely as writers in our own lifetimes (even more so for those of us who are female and odd and who use... individual punctuation). The programme threw up a theory or two about her and featured this poem of hers at its very start:
I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us—don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know.
How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!
Interesting.... and I'm guessing she wouldn't have been in the queue for Celebrity Big Brother (had it existed in 19th century Massachusetts). By the way, I've laid the poem out as I found it in my "Selected Poems" (Borders Classics 2006). I say this because I am aware there are different schools of Emily lay-out, as it were, but I am not nearly academic enough to remember the differences or to be, in all honesty, that bothered about them (though mess with my weird layout and punctuation at your peril... shameless double standards, I know). Here is the same poem read aloud:
And now I will get back to doing anything else but writing any poems. Ribbit.