(Poem No.35 of my favourite short poems)
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.
A delightful, short and simply expressed poem, which expands a metaphor into a delightfully positive view of the power of Hope in our lives. It remains with us through gale and storm, demanding nothing of us.
The preferred use by Emily Dickinson of dashes to punctuate her verses has been, more recently, commented on light-heartedly in a short poem of Wendy Cope’s . . .
Liked to use dashes
Instead of full stops
Nowadays, faced with such
Critics and editors
Send for the cops.