Thursday, 26 April 2012



I know a funny little man,
    As quiet as a mouse,
Who does the mischief that is done
    In everybody’s house!
There’s no one ever sees his face,
    And yet we all agree
That every plate we break was cracked
    By Mr. Nobody.

’Tis he who always tears out books,
    Who leaves the door ajar,
He pulls the buttons from our shirts,
    And scatters pins afar;
That squeaking door will always squeak,
    For prithee, don’t you see,
We leave the oiling to be done
    By Mr. Nobody.

He puts damp wood upon the fire,
That kettle cannot boil;
His are the feet that bring in mud,
And all the carpets soil.
The papers are always mislaid,
Who had them last but he?
There's no one tosses them about 
But Mr Nobody.

The finger marks upon the door
    By none of us are made;
We never leave the blinds unclosed,
    To let the curtains fade.
The ink we never spill;   the boots
    That lying round you see
Are not our boots,—they all belong
    To Mr. Nobody.

A poem on life.

Behaving badly and not owning up.

A suitable title because the purpose is to blame nobody. Nobody is a non-person so he is the best person to push the blame to.

The poem is set in the house as the persona talks about the situation in the house. Things get broken, misplaced and thrown around by an unseen person. His behavior messes up the house.

It is the poet’s voice. The poet is also the persona. There is one voice but several character are involved – I, we, Mr. Nobody.

A limited rhyming pattern – only lines 2 and 4 of each stanza rhyme.
Similie : As quiet as a mouse.
Imagery : Images of mess - mud, carpets soiled, papers mislaid, finger marks upon the door, ink…spilled, boots lying around.
Metaphor : the door ajar is like saying Mr. Nobody moves in and out like a thief unseen. The squeaking door will always squeak  as though it is a mouse.
The uses of senses
·         See – mud, marks, curtains fade, books, door ajar
·         Hear – quiet, break, cracked, tears, squek
·         Touch – damp

Simple and direct. Every stanza ends with Mr. Nobody. Old expressions are used –  prithee. Double meaning is used to create humor such as Mr Nobody refers to a person and a non-person. Lying means not telling the truth or being found all over.  We can see contrast or irony no one ever sees his face…yet we all agree that he is the mischief maker. This is used to express sarcasm.

The topic is serious but the tone is casual.

·         Responsiblibility for one’s action. Very few people own up when they create a problem. They tend to put the blame on others.
·         Truth and honesty.
·         Respect for family members.
·         Cultivate a good habit.

·         We must work together to look after the family home.
·         Have respect for other’s property.
·         Value and appreciate things at home
·         Practice discipline wherever and whenever necessary.
·         We must be tidy all the time.
·         Appreciate the person who has to clean up after us.


scattering pins afar

tossing   newspapers

breaking plate
tearing book

pulling buttons off the shirt

never oiling the door
leaving finger marks upon the door

lying boots around

putting damp wood upon the fire

bringing  in mud and soiling the carpert

spilling ink
leaving the blinds unclosed 
Fading curtains

as quiet as a mouse

Who is actually Mr Nobody?
  • a person with no name?
  • a ghost?
  • a mischief maker?
  • an imagery character?
  • a very shy person?
  • the personality we become when we do naughty things?
  • someone who influences us to be bad?
  • someone  on whom we like to put blame on?

Read the poem and answer the following questions.

1. Which  expression shows that the funny little man does all the mischievous things secretly? (11/2 mark)
As quiet as a mouse

2. Why does the speaker says that the door will always squeak? (11/2 mark)
Nobody oils it

3. What is said about Mr. Nobody's mischief in stanza 1? (1 mark)
He cracked the  plates

4. What happened to the book on the shelves? (2 marks)
The pages are torn

5. What has happened to the pins? (1 mark)
The pins are scattered

6. Why does the door squeak? (2 marks)
Nobody oils it

7. Why doesn't the kettle boil? (1 mark)
Someone puts damp wood  upon the fire

8. Why are the carpets soiled? (1 mark)
Someone brings in mud

9. What is Mr Nobody blamed for in the last lines of the poem? ( 2 marks)
The boots that are left lying around

10. Why do you think the persona chooses to stress on Mr. Nobody committing mischief? ( 2 marks)
Mr Nobody represents a person who does want to be responsible of his actions. He is not a bad person but an irresponsible  one and these actions are normal in the process of growing up.


  1. iv always seen ghosts from when i was 1 years old. i used to sit in the corner and talk away. everyone thought it was just my imagination but im 12 now and grown up and i still see all the ghosts and talk to them. some of their storys are quite sad. mr nobody isnt imaginary he is a ghost who worked as the queens guard and then went into the army and sadly died. he has blue eyes and brown hair and isnt as naughty as what people say he is. yes he can be naughty at times but hes really nice otherwise. i dont know his full story because he doesnt like talking about it and he starts to cry and get upset so i respect that. a lot of you will be thinking shes only 12 she doesnt know anything but i know what i can do (talk and see ghosts) and i dont care if you dont believe fine but for those who can see ghost please hear me out because you should know what its like.

    1. really ?! you can see a ghost who was always wondering around us ? that's mean you have a six sense , am I right ?

    2. There are people who can see ghosts. He's not lying

  2. Hi. I am a substitute teacher and now I am confused with the main theme of this poem. When i googled, the main theme of this poem is 'taking responsibility for what one has done.' However, there is one workbook which stated that the main theme for this poem is 'family life.' In the last exam, I actually did not award mark for the students who answered 'family life' as the theme for this poem, however, when the student showed me their photocopied note (which is derived from a workbook that was photocopied by their teacher whom I am currently replacing), it was stated in that photocopied note that the MAIN THEME for this poem is 'family life'. I asked a form 1 teacher whether this theme is acceptable, and the form 1 teacher said yes. But when I asked a PMR examiner about it, the examiner told me it is not acceptable and the workbook is not credible. I am confused. I need a third opinion on this matter. Is 'family life' acceptable as one of the themes?

    1. I don't think it's acceptable, because these things just is a part of family life. Fyi, I'm just a kid trying to find some notes for my exam.

    2. Thanks for your reply. Yeap I awarded them mark just because they have read the notes (despite a misleading one), but I warned them all that they should not repeat this answer. Thank you so much for the confirmation and yes, the most accurate theme would be taking up one's responsibility for what one has done.

  3. why does the poet say there is a Mr. Nobody in everybody's house

    1. Lyana Merican,
      The poet said that there is a Mr. Nobody in everybody's house because there is an irresponsible person in the family. sometimes we forgot to close the door or sometimes we forgot to put back things that we borrowed etc. when someone asked us where is the papers? the usual answer we give will be I don't know. Not me. I am not the last person. so that is why there is always a mr. nobody in everyone's house.

  4. Replies
    1. Dear haziqah sahaja
      Hopefully these answers will be a great help to you. Thank you.

    2. Dear haziqah sahaja
      Hopefully these answers will be a great help to you. Thank you.