A restless reader's responses to a wide variety of literature, biography, history, politics, and more
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
"Hope" is the thing with feathers --
“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.
What a lovely poem by Emily Dickinson. I especially like the bird metaphor: universal and sublime, it sings, it endures, it comforts.
However, like so many of her poems, this one has parts that puzzle me. Perhaps you can help me solve the puzzles. Why, I wonder, is "Hope" capitalized and in quotation marks? And I do not think I understand that closing quatrain. Doesn't "Hope" need to be nourished?