Friday, February 18, 2000

Emily Dickerson ~ Hope ~ review

This is the poem, “Hope” written by Emily Dickerson :

"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 chilliest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity
It asked a crumb—of me.

Emily Dickenson writes the poem “Hope” as a metaphor in itself. Hope is a metaphor “with feathers — that purchase within the soul”. She is referring to a bird as a personification of the meaning of hope. In the verse, “sings a tune—without the words”, hope develops within all of us in our soul, not in words. She then talks about how the personification of the hope undergoes hardships in life such as “never stops at all”, “sweetest – in the Gale – is heard” and “score must be the storm”. She also continued with “abash the little bird – that kept so many warm”. This also could mean we should never stop hoping even under life’s difficulties and never give up. In the writing of her poem, she uses traditional iambic meter; whereby, some of her line rhymes are in coupling form. She also uses a style of modernism; whereas, some of her lines do not rhyme. She alternates her rhyming lines with lines that do not rhyme. (Art of Being Human, pp 98-99, 2009)

I think what she said was true to a point. I like how her poem was cleverly compressed in a simplistic style; with a lot of play of words. The impact of this poem reminds me of when I lost hope at one time; I became a grouchy and not a very nice person to be around with. I looked at everything in a negative light. Like Emily, I also believe that hope is a desire or feeling that should never be lost. Without hope, one is likely not to believe that life can bring much enrichment to oneself. (Art of Being Human, pp 98-99, 2009)