Sunday, February 9, 2014

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.

-Emily Dickinson

This is one of Dickinson's earlier poems, before her writing style could be determined. The open is one extended metaphor in which hope is symbolized by a bird. The rhyme scheme is ABAB CDCD EFFF. The poem also uses a number of contrasting words. There are positive words such as "sweetest" and  "warm", and there are negative words such as "gale" and "chilliest." It is clear though that the poem is overall positive.  In this poem, Dickinson uses a bird as a metaphor for hope. She goes on about what the bird does, about how the bird sings its songs for her without stopping, and never asks for nothing in return. Dickinson also says that even the toughest storms cannot stop the bird. She is saying that we should not let even the worst things cause us to give up hope The only thing that could hurt hope is our own negative thoughts. .Everyone will go through a challenge time in life and face tough situations, and hope is the thing that lives inside all of us, keeping us moving forward. Hope can help someone overcome even the most difficult situations. The overall theme of the poem would be hope. I feel that this is a great poem that everyone can read, and feel good about. Dickinson normally writes about a lot of dark and depressing subjects, but this poem is one that shows her positivity. This poem is a true inspiration and it inspired me when I first read it. Going through my own hardships right now, this poem made me feel like the future is bright for me. I would not recommend this poem just to people going through a struggle or a dark time, but to everyone because just like everyone has hope, everyone needs something to strengthen their hope.

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