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On a pond adjacent to the University of North Florida’s Thomas G. Carpenter Library, parts of Emily Dickinson’s well-known poem about being a “Nobody” were recently written on the water. During the fall of 2014, the familiar words of that poem’s opening line – “I’m Nobody! Who are you?” – appeared to float upon the library’s pond, reflecting vividly in the light of day (yet disappearing entirely in the dark of night). While inside the library’s large open stairway, on the tall windows that face directly out onto that pond, the first line of the poem’s second stanza – “How dreary – to be – Somebody!” – was also written. As one climbed the library’s staircase, moving from the first floor to the fourth, this second line from Dickinson’s poem was spatially staggered – as if by its own dashes – between the floors, its words printed onto transparencies and attached to the panes of glass. Together, on the library’s pond and windows, Dickinson’s words remained in place for the next several weeks, the lines from the poem seen by all who came upon them...


Published in The Emily Dickinson International Society Bulletin vol. 27 no. 2 Nov./Dec. 2015