Thursday, June 30, 2011


I love quotes, poems and songs and tend to find one or more for various situations in life. One of my favorite poems is one that I first heard 10 years ago in my American Literature class when I was living in Minnesota as an exchange student. It is 'Hope is the thing with feathers' 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.

It was actually the poem I chose to write my term paper on. It still is somewhere around here. One of the things that fascinated me then about her is the fact that starting in her mid 20s she started withdrawing more and more from the outside world until she rarely left the house.

From the Emily Dickinson Museum: Among Dickinson scholars, disagreement exists concerning whether hers was a deliberate choice as an artist to isolate herself so she could focus on her work or whether such unusual behavior as her startled flight from the doorbell, an increasing inability to see or visit friends, and speaking with select visitors from behind a darkened door rather than face to face, had a medical origin, such as an anxiety condition. In any event, the poet and her family accommodated her unusual ways, which left strong marks on her poetry, including her desire not to publicly publish her poems during her lifetime.

But before I go on analyzing the whole poem and her life story, let me ask you this:

What is your favorite inspirational quote, poem or song?

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