And now for something a little different: I thought I’d share a poem that I wrote in response to Emily Dickinson’s beloved poem, “Hope” is the thing with feathers. Here is her poem followed by the one that she inspired in me.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers

“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.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Featherless Hope (My conversation with Emily)

Hope is the thing with feathers, you wrote - 
And - can I be honest? - I wish it were so -
Because then I could find it, buy it, and keep it 
Perched in my soul - or better yet - free it -
But Hope - to me - is not something I see -
Just a shy little bird that asks me to be - 
To wait and to trust in its promise of rest -
To lay down my burden, that it might be blessed -
It asks not a crumb, that part seems true
And sings to me - still - a song always new -
A life of abundance it offers to me
And a promise - so sweet! - of eternity

2 thoughts on “Featherless Hope: My Conversation with Emily

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