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Hope Is the Thing With Feathers by Emily Dickinson

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    Those who live without hope have a very heavy burden. Hope is definitely the light in the dark tunnel. The truth is that while many people around the world are living in harsh conditions, and those in such circumstances hold the ray of hope that things can change.

    This is one of the thoughts coming to mind when first reading the poem ‘Hope is a Thing with Feathers’ by Emily Dickinson. Whoever or anywhere you are in this world always have hope, and hope there is no cost.     “Hope is the thing with feathers” by Emily Dickinson is a poem of young soul still holds the hope of a life that is getting older.

    In a first verse, Emily Dickinson made a metaphor. Hope looks like a bird singing in the soul. It’s a picture of something that’s deep inside us when Emily wrote: ‘sings the tune without the words’. No words suggest that something of sense, not of knowledge. Hoping to sing as an uncontrolled action of soul reflex.

    Dickinson’s hopes are like the close-up images of birds still around the house, the world of children and women, and so there is something paradoxical in this metaphor of hope. Birds in the back garden, under the eaves often small, weak, timid rather than strong and sustainable. However, they are in agreement with Dickinson’s view of the world. It also makes us have a look at the poet as a little bird. What is known about Dickinson’s life has given us a picture of a woman hiding in the halls, is somewhat shy, fearful.

    Writing poems silently like that. Such a feeling is perfectly in line with the crowd’s mindset to Dickinson, as an extraordinary scholar, who finds a shield against the loneliness of the world in her poetry.

    One of the messages of the poem is that in whatever difficult life brings to, there is always hope, and through the image of the little bird ‘kept so many warm’ in the storm with the sweetest voice. Dickinson finds that similar birds are close to humans, and therefore, they can also nest in the human soul and share in its compassion. Everyone will experience the turbulent time in life, and they will always keep themselves a ray of hope, though very small as the motivation to overcome all difficulties.

    The hope is that the resistance is human nature, they are stubborn to fight the difficulties in life. In this sense, the bird is flying through a strong wind, it is very anxious, but its voice is still sweet in the storm.

    With Dickinson, the singing of the bird ‘never stops at all’ symbolizes hope in the life, hope in the soul. Hoping to sing as an uncontrolled action of soul reflex. There is a clear contrast in the poem between sides is represented with words such as ‘warm,’ ‘sweet’, and the pain of life as represented in words like ‘storm’, ‘gale’, ‘chillest’. Although it is a complete opposite, it clearly demonstrates that hope is always the light in the darkest storm, and hope is the power to overcome all obstacles.

    If there is hope, it is only illusory, ‘That kept so many warm’. But perhaps it is not true, as we all know, life is still full. There was never a lack of something called despair. It may ‘asked a crumb of me’.

    What is outstanding about the poem is its absolute simplicity, both in structure and in poetry presentation. However, the content and ideas discussed in the poem are really simple, the idea of hope in the ‘extremity’ and the hope ‘in the chillest land’ and ‘the strangest sea’ is like a philosophical view. The clear and easy way to rhyme is to work together with simple words to make sure the activity is related to the content.

    Thus, the poem is pieces of imagery linked together by metaphor to express hope in life. Instead of figure what exactly hope is, Dickinson called hope is ‘the thing’, and the ambiguity of the word ‘thing’ allows the metaphor to really shine.

    As most of Dickinson’s poems, ‘Hope is the thing with feathers’ takes the form of a poem whose iambic trimeter often extend to include a stress at the end of the line, such as in ‘sings the tune without the words’. Dickinson described the hope with a simple metaphorical through the bird singing in the soul by her homiletic style that derived from Psalms and religious hymns.

    One of the messages of the poem seems to say that whatever life throws at individuals always has the same glimmer of hope as the dove. Hope will be like the light at the end of the road, a source of spiritual strength to help people overcome the challenges in life. Just hope, people will dare to challenge with difficulty to conquer the peak. Only when people give up hope, they actually fail.

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    Hope Is the Thing With Feathers by Emily Dickinson. (2021, Jul 28). Retrieved from

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