Hope is the Thing with Feathers

by EMILY DICKINSON (1830-1886)

HOPE is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

Hope is the thing with feathers

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.

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, to a family well known for educational and political activity. Her father, an orthodox Calvinist, was a lawyer and treasurer of the local college. He also served in Congress. Dickinson’s mother, whose name was also Emily, was a cold, religious, hard-working housewife, who suffered from depression. Her relationship with her daughter was distant. Dickinson once wrote in a letter that she never had a mother.

Emily Dickinson Contemporaries
Gerard Manley Hopkins
Phoebe Cary
Owen Meredith (Lord Lytton)
John James Ingalls

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