“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.


“Hope” Is The Thing With Feathers is one of the best known of Emily Dickinson’s poems (written in 1862). An extended metaphor, it likens the concept of hope to a feathered bird that is permanently perched in the soul of every human.

Full of figurative language, this poem is an extended metaphor, transforming hope into a bird (the poet loved birds) that is ever present in the human soul. It sings, especially when times get tough. Hope springs eternal, might be a reasonable summing up.


Obtained from https://www.ccvichapel.org/post/_hope

On the header, photo by Jeffrey Hamilton on Unsplash.


  1. Thomas DeFreitas

    Thanks so much, Sisters, for dearest Emily Dickinson, and for the sage exposition of the poem.

    • Amormeus

      Thomas, we appreciate you reading our posts and sharing your thoughts with us.


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