A little while back someone posted the beginning of this poem on my fb wall. I fell in love with the words. Then just this week, my sweet friend Coni sent the entire poem to me and the breakdown of what the metaphor means along with some questions. She said it reminded her of me... I was so blessed at the use and connection of hope and birds in this poem. They go hand in hand just like Maddie and Jonah. <3 What a blessing... Enjoy =)
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.
Dickinson defines hope by comparing it to a bird (a metaphor) .
Hope is a "thing" because it is a feeling; the thing/feeling is like a bird. Dickinson uses the standard dictionary format for a definition; first she places the word in a general category ("thing"), and then she differentiates it from everything else in that category. For instance, the definition of a cat would run something like this: a cat is a mammal (the first part of the definition places it in a category); the rest of the definition would be "which is nocturnal, fur-bearing, hunts at night, has pointed ears, etc. (the second part of the definition differentiates the cat from other all mammals).
December 3, 2011
Hope is the thing with feathers...
Posted by Natalie Ross at 9:45 PM