Poetry

‘”Hope” is the thing with feathers’ by Emily Dickinson

“Hope” is the thing with feathers (254)

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
Photo: Emily Dickinson Museum

Emily Dickinson was an American poet. Born in 1830, for most of her life she was considered an eccentric and lived in isolation. While her enigmatic brilliance remained unappreciated during her time, she is now known as a major figure of American poetry.

It was not until Lavinia Dickinson, Emily’s younger sister, discovered her collection of poems—that her work became public, after the writer’s death in 1886. Dickinson’s work uses motifs of nature, religion, music, and domesticity, among others, to explore themes such as love, death, the Self, immortality, and God.