If Emily Dickinson Wrote a Facebook Profile

Emily Dickinson (poem 288, c. 1861):

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!

And I like this comment about Facebook from a reader at Andrew Sullivan’s blog:

[Facebook] plays into some very unpleasant human social characteristics, foremost the temptation to evaluate one’s own worth based on a comparison with others: what they have, what they do, where they holiday, etc. It is a profoundly unspiritual experience.

All flesh is grass. Better to read Emily and follow her. At least she did something lasting. Here’s another of her poems (poem 1121, c. 1868):

Time does go on–

I tell it gay to those who suffer now–

They shall survive–

There is a sun–

They don’t believe it now.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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