Wednesday, January 25, 2012

"Hope" is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson

"Hope" is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
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.
Some thoughts…
on this poem: I’m guessing Dickinson was a bird-lover. This is just one more from her ornithological collection.
I think a song-bird is the perfect metaphor for hope – small, vulnerable, yet gallant. I’m lucky to live in a place where I get to see nature in my own backyard – foxes, wild turkeys, coyotes, raccoons. My favorites by far are the birds – the hawk that landed on my yard, with all the arrogant pride of a Prince, while I held my breath and hardly dared move lest I startle it away.
The smaller birds are more cheerful visitors bringing a flash of color as they zip in and around the shrubs – the red cardinals, blue jays, yellow tits, and the humming-birds…especially the humming birds, as they hover around the bird-feeder like winged gems. Who wouldn’t feel hope and good cheer looking at these small visions of divinity?

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