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Poetry Corner | Hope Is The Thing With Feathers

Now, I don’t like birds. I am afraid of birds – let’s just say a feathery and terrifying time at the Alfred Hitchcock experience at Universal Studios, a lowering attack in Auvillar, France, an aerial splattering in San Francisco, I could go on and on. But I do like feather quill pens (I have a tattoo of one on my wrist), so I’ve always been conflicted about the (somewhat tentative, I admit) connection between feathers and writing.

Then, I reread this poem after years of forgetting it. The first part is well-distributed (oh, the memes!), but it’s the last stanza that gets me every time. It stirs and soars within me, and I’d love to hear what it means to you. And as always, if you have suggestions for poems or poets to spotlight here just let us know in the comments! Enjoy ~

Hope Is The Thing With Feathers FB

“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 the strangest Sea –

Yet – never – in Extremity,

It asked a crumb – of me.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons License small bird by ogiienko is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

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About Tomi Wiley (38 Articles)
Tomi L. Wiley is the Poetry and Short Fiction Editor for Sweatpants & Coffee.com. She has written and edited for media including Southern Living and Oxford American magazines, has been published in the literary anthologies Milk & Ink: a Mosaic of Motherhood, Telling Tales, Maypop and the Southeast Review, has coordinated panels for the Southern Festival of Books, spoken on the creative writing process at Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is a past president of the Tennessee Writers Alliance. She lives in Knoxville, where she is writing her first novel with the help of lots of wine, goat cheese and the Barefoot Contessa.

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