Poem of the Week: ‘Hope’ Is The Thing With Feathers

  • Post Category:English

Our second Poem of the Week, recommended by Year 12 students, Isla and Issy, is “Hope” is the thing with feathers by American poet, Emily Dickinson.

It has been described as a ‘hymn of praise’, written to honour the human capacity for hope. An extended metaphor, Dickinson likens the concept of hope to a feathered bird, permanently perched in the soul of every human.
Considering the start of a new Half Term in lockdown, we thought this was appropriate!

“Hope” is the thing with feathers – (314) 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 strangest Sea –
Yet – never – Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

Photo Credit:
Bridgeman Art Library / Universal Images Group
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