Saturday, October 08, 2005


Hope is the thing...
by Emily Dickinson

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

I really like this poem. Emily Dickinson starts off the poem by immediately describing hope like a bird. She doesn't even say "bird"; she says that it's feathered and "perches in the soul". Her use of words and comparison is so perfect. The poem flows like water. The author continues to show how hope helps people so much and supports them through their toughest times, yet it never asks for anything in return. The mood of the poem isn't really glum or happy; it's just really deep. Hope is such an abstract idea that when it is put in such a concrete form as a bird, it pushes our thoughts into a deeper and clearer idea of the author's ideas. In this case hope appears to be so harmless and innocent. The author describes it as "singing", "sweet", and "warm". All of these adjectives really bring out a compassionate idea of hope. The last line is a great way to finish too. Instead of saying "it never asked for anything in return", she says "it [never] asked a crumb of me". The picture of a crumb is so small of so insignificant. But hope never even asked for something as little as that in return. So true so deep haha.


Blogger Julie Mong said...

I like the way you interpret the poem. Hope is a powerful thing that holds civilization together and without it, we would have nothing to keep us going. The way Dickinson suggest that this tiny bird could keep so many protected even in the strongest storms proves that hope though small can have a large effect.

9:43 PM  
Blogger brianne fong said...

Hope, in and of itself, is a fascinating concept and feeling. Emily Dickenson is already a renown poet for work such as this, but it's the topics that she chooses to write about and the way that she goes about describing such feelings that really captivates people. I love the last stanza, how Hope is even in the darkest and loneliness of places, but never does it ask anything of the person. Hope is just a feeling that does nothing more and nothing less and gives people something to look forward to. Beautiful poem and interpretation.

1:15 AM  

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