Poetry Friday: (invisible girl)

h1 June 26th, 2009 by eisha

The Great War by Rene MagritteFunny thing happened this week: I (along with MANY other people, including everyone I work with) was informed that, due to one person’s negligence and another person’s wickedness, our sensitive personal data has been released into the ether. Like, the kind of data you steal someone’s identity with. On our employer’s covering-their-asses advice, I immediately placed one of those fraud alert thingys on my credit info and checked out my credit report. So far, so good. But it’s still very scary; and as I keep hearing from other people, if anything does happen with my credit, the damage could be permanent. Evil-data-thieves may get to change identities like they’re changing underwear, but as a law-abiding citizen I’m apparently stuck with mine for life.

This is certainly the most concrete reason I’ve had for wishing that weren’t true, but it’s not the first time I’ve wanted to be able to start all over and wake up in a different life. Wouldn’t it be great to be an unknown quantity, a blank slate? Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to escape from myself for a while, to fly under everyone’s radar — including my own — and be really truly free?

Do you think that’s something like what Emily Dickinson was feeling when she wrote this? If anyone knew about the perks of anonymity, and the desire to escape a pigeonholed life, I’d say it was her. Here’s #204:

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!

* * * * * * *

Today’s Poetry Friday Round-up is being hosted by the lovely lady who started the whole thing in the first place: Kelly Herold, at her new-ish blog Crossover. Thanks, Kelly!

14 comments to “Poetry Friday: (invisible girl)”

  1. I love Emily Dickinson and I love this poem. I love how it celebrates individuality. I don’t want to be just like everyone else! Especially when everyone else are a lot like frogs in a bog. 🙂

  2. Oh and I’ve actually tried to reinvent myself twice. Once when I loved from the US to the Philippines (talk about a clean slate!). Then a second time when I stopped teaching to become a writer / editor (another clean slate!). Didn’t work. Damn. I always ended up… myself again. 😀

  3. Wow what a typo. That’s supposed to read “Once when I MOVED from the US to the Philippines….”

  4. Now that your info is a little bit more accessible to identity theft creeps than all the rest of ours, you might WANT to claim to be Nobody so that you stay under their radar, as it were!

  5. Sorry to hear about the data leak, Eisha. That’s very scary. The Dickinson poem certainly makes a statement in this day and age of Twitter and Facebook and blogs, where I think people are actually revealing way too much.

  6. Oh, Eisha. I’m so sorry. Mean people suck.

    I’ve often wished that my superpower could be invisibility. For, you know, the flying-under-the-radar you speak of.

  7. I’m sorry you’re going through such stress, Eisha. That’s wretched. Fingers crossed that you locked your credit in time, and that nothing more will come of this.

    Staying under the radar – that sounds good to me.

  8. Am I the only one who misread the.last line as “To an admiring BLog”? I’m spending waaaay too much time online! 🙂

    Wonderful poem, but so sorry about the events which occasioned it, Eisha.

  9. Ugh. Nightmare. And yet, once it’s done, it’s …done. And you’ve done all you can. Fingers crossed that all goes well. I can’t believe that wickedness was involved… I’d be doing some shin kicking. Mean people DO suck.

    I prefer being Nobody myself, and hope you continue to be Nobody, too.

  10. Tarie, I know. I’ve taken advantage of a couple of moves to start fresh with people who don’t know me, but… yeah, I still know me. Agreed on the joys of individuality!

    True, Mary Lee. Do you think I could just change my name? Eisha Nobody?

    jama, it’s true! Maybe we should rein ourselves in a bit on the oversharing.

    jules, that would truly rock.

    jen, thanks!

    JES, that’s quite a Freudian slip of the eye.

    tanita/Nobody, believe me, if the person(s) in question are caught, I’ll be first in line for a lil’ shin kicking action.

  11. I’m so sorry that such a thing happened – especially with that intent! I hope you and your co-workers are safe in all realms.

    I do so enjoy that poem.

  12. Eisha that is such a shame! I am hoping you manage to avoid the bad guys once again. I actually have changed my name (in college) and then tried to go back to the name my mother gave me (in grad school) but it didn’t work. One person knew the name I chose myself and everyone else immediately started using it too. So now I’ve lived most of my life with the name I chose myself – the name that stuck is the real one.

  13. I wish we could all count on other people to behave decently, at least at the level of not actively engaging in criminal behavior. I do not understand people who prey on others. It’s yucky.

  14. Sorry to hear that! I hope things get solved asap! D:

    But yay! My favourite Emily Dickinson poem! I think she meant that to be Somebody was a person that is “important”, which was probably mostly rich and famous or other things… and that this Somebody is very non-unique. So yeah, who wants to be Somebody? I certainly don’t!

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