Sunday, 10 March 2013

Poem: "Hope" is the thing with feathers 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. 

Emily Dickinson spent her last years writing poetry. After her death, her sister found hundreds of poems that Emily had written, which she then published. Emily was born on December 10, 1830, in Amherst, Massachusetts. Emily is known for her poignant, compressed, and deeply charged poems in which have profoundly influenced the directions of 20th-century poetry. Emily died on May 15, 1886 in which only two of her poems where published during her lifetime. She is one of the few famous women poets who influence a lot of female poets to write. Emily Dickinson is a highly respected poet and is an inspiration to many. 

Hope is always with us in life even in our darkest times when no hope seems to be there. Hope will always be there, even if it’s the size of one grain of rice. Hope is there and will always be. Life isn’t always full of hope because people won’t see it but deep down they know that there is hope. Life isn’t always that pleasant but at the end of it, you’ll see that it’s worth it. 

Life is full of unexpected twist and you’ll never know it but you always hope for the best. Hope is like the rainbow that comes after every rain. Emily Dickinson writes a poem about hope to give hope to others who needs it the most. She tells us that hope is inside of us even if it doesn't seem like it but it’s there. We don’t always feel it but we know that it’s there. Everyone can relate to this poem because everyone has hope. Everyone needs hope, everyone feels hope, and inside everyone there is hope. 

Sometimes, hope is what that person only has, that person must have went through a lot and they always hope for the best at the end. Hope is a free but always taken for granted thing. Sometimes people say there is no hope in the darkness but that’s not true. There is always hope in the darkness even if all hopes seems to be gone, there is hope. Hope is what reunites some people, hope is what everyone needs. If there is no hope, how can we have a bright future to look forward to.


I am guessing that this title is about hope, seeing as the title quoted the word hope. The feathers though, I don't know what that has to do with it. Maybe, it's telling us that hope is a bird or that we can fly when we have hope. 

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That settles in the soul—
And sings the tune without the lyrics—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must the storm be—
That could embarrass the little Bird
That kept people so warm—

I’ve heard it in the coldest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a piece—of Me. 

1. Structure: 2 Quatrains and 2 couplets, Rhyme Scheme - ABCB ABAB ABBB, Meter - Iambic Trimeter, Punctuation: Quotation mark, period, comma, hypen
2. Speaker: Hope is like a bird, Audience: It is what inside of us
3. Figurative Language: Similes (none), Metaphors (Hope is the thing with feathers)
4. Imagery: Sight (little bird, gale, storm), Touch (little bird, chillest land), Smell (none), Hear (tune without words), Taste (none)
5. Repetition: None

Optimistic, cheerful/cheery, gentle, lighthearted, tender, thoughtful, insightful, humble, calm, consoling, appreciative, friendly, and blissful. 


1st Quatrain (Lines 1-4) – Talks about hope singing tunes in your soul
2nd Quatrain (Lines 5-8) – Even in a storm nothing could embarrass the little bird
3rd Couplet (Lines 9-10) – You can hear it in the chilliest land or the strangest sea
4th Couplet (Lines  11-12) – Even during extremity, it will never ask a piece of me

The first two quatrains and the first couplet talks about the little bird and the wonderful tune it sings. While on the last couplet, it says that even after everything, it never asked a piece of me. Meaning that the bird never asking you to change or give up something.

This poem is about hope but she portrait hope as a bird. She used a bird because birds always tries even if they have a broken wing, they try to fly because they have hope that they will fly. 

There are 3 possible themes for this poem:
1.A bird with a broken wing doesn't give up trying.
2. Hope is the motivation and inspiration we need in life. 
3. Everyone is full of hope that sings a tune in them.

Dickinson, E. (1861). "Hope" is the thing with feathers. Poem Hunter. Website. Retrieved from


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