8Bit Bob's informal study of poetry #2: Emily Dickinson's "Hope" is the Thing With Feathers

Published by 8Bit Bob in the blog 8Bit Bob's blog. Views: 179

Hello and welcome to my second informal study of poetry. Today I will be taking a look at Emily Dickinson's "Hope" is a Thing With Feathers.
(You can read "Hope" is the Thing With feathers here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/42889/hope-is-the-thing-with-feathers-314)

In this poem the speaker begins by saying that "Hope" is "the thing with feathers" (line 1). By "the thing with feathers" she is obviously referring to a bird (this is further proven when she calls it "the little Bird" in line 7). She then goes on to say that hope "perches in the soul" (line 2) and "sings the tune without the words/And never stops - at all -" (lines 3-4), suggesting that hope lives in our soul and is always with us.

In the second stanza the speaker says "And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -/And sore must be the storm -/That could abash the little Bird/That kept so many warm -" (lines 5-8), suggesting that this "little Bird" is stronger than some think, and can withstand strong "storms" (or trials). The last line suggests that hope keeps "so many warm", which, I think, is referring to the fact that hope keeps a lot of people going, and gives them, well, hope.

The last stanza begins by saying "I’ve heard it in the chillest land -/And on the strangest Sea -" (lines 9-10), suggesting that hope has stayed with the speaker through her darkest times and struggles. The poem then ends with "Yet - never - in Extremity,/It asked a crumb - of me." (lines 11-12), meaning that hope never asks anything of the speaker, but gave so much to her (as stated earlier in the poem).
Thus concludes my second informal study of poetry. If you think there's something I missed or failed to cover, feel free to leave a comment and let me know. Thanks for reading!
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