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 tel one’s name the Livelong June
To an admiring–Bog!
That’s Emily Dickinson, and she was right, they WILL advertise,
and what’s more, become a mob, a Flash Mob, to an admiring bog,
that’s us! We’re celebrating a so-called “nobody” who became a big celebrity from tapping
into everybody’s inner nobody. We’re disturbing the peace with words of poetry honoring
the woman who lived her life unknown as a poet, “shut up” and “shut out” of public life.
We’ll bring her to the streets!
When? December 9th, 5 pm, the eve of Emily Dickinson’s birthday.
We can’t tell you where because a Flash Mob breaks out of the ordinary public rhythms, surprising everyone, but we’ll give you some clues.
Look for sightings of Nobody, wearing purple boots and white clothes for the woman who dressed
only in white and expressed herself in “the purple well.” Look for a seating place on which a famous literary creation waxed
philosophically about chocolate (“my momma said, life is like a box of chocolates). Look for a street, or “row,” where our region’s own Nobel Prize author wrote a book with a title that is a BIG CLUE to where this Flash Mob celebration of Emily Dickinson’s birthday is happening! (hint: you can hear seals bark!)
YES, Gingerbread will be served!
YES, Poetry will be recited!
This Flash Mob (shhhhh) is brought to you by Team Poetry, for the Poet in Residence of Pacific Grove, with Barbara Mossberg (“Dr. B), and students of CSUMB and PGHS, under the direction of Mr. Larry Haggquist and the Poetry Out Loud program.
COME ONE COME ALL! COME ON, and bring your favorite “NOBODY!”
Interview with Barbara Mossberg:
Emily Dickinson lived her life in basic seclusion, if not exile. In her lifetime she was virtually unknown as a poet.
Yet she yearned to be famous, to be immortal, to matter utterly to us, to be “great, Someday,” as a poet. She knew she was considered
a “nobody” and she defiantly took on that identity with pride and panache! She created a whole identity and poetry of such
distinction and singularity that she became one of the greatest poets in the English language, beloved around the world. How delicious to celebrate her celebrity, her fame, with a mob, disturbing the peace! To an “admiring bog!” And to have a crew of Nobodies saying her most famous words. She is no longer “shut up,” “shut out.” She is part of fabric of our daily lives, her words the spiritual soundtrack to how we live and think about life most profoundly. Her joys and sorrows and insights into the largeness of life will be expressed on the sidewalk, in the plaza, on the street, on a public bench . . . Yes–in public!