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Analysis and comments on "Hope" is the thing with feathers by Emily Dickinson

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Comment 10 of 40, added on April 5th, 2005 at 5:24 PM.

I really like this poem. It gives me the will to go on when things get bad.
I also read it when I need inspiration for a poem of my own. The poem Ms.
Dickinson inspired is the following couplet:
Back and forth, the waves will go
Where the lead, I do not know

Holly from United States
Comment 9 of 40, added on March 21st, 2005 at 12:32 AM.

“’Hope’ is the thing with feathers” is my favorite Dickinson poem. When we
studied her poetry my Junior year of high school, I chose this poem to
memorize and it has stuck with me ever since. I love to make up analogies
for experiences or feelings I or others have had. I frequently add examples
to conversations I have with my friends. Consequently, her personification
of hope as a bird really strikes a cord in my brain. I love the way she
uses the experiences of a bird as something her audience could relate to.
She uses wonderfully vibrant pictures to describe that ambiguous word of

Kristin from United States
Comment 8 of 40, added on March 9th, 2005 at 11:33 AM.

For Dickinson, hope is an independent gift. It is delicate and fragile,
yet strong and indominatble, a paradoxical quality that is reflected in the
"and sore must be the storm-
That could abash the little Bird"


The forward motin of the lines with Dickinson's strange punctutation, also
helps to suggest that this is a continuing state of mind, not just a
temporary high point

"and never stops - at all -"

the underlying sadness as you call it is often seen more as a curiosity as
she cannot understand hope and so must personify it as a bird to express
her feelings of it.

orla from Ireland
Comment 7 of 40, added on March 6th, 2005 at 2:23 PM.

The point of this peom is approaching hope as a symbol of fate. And can be
within different people as well as shown in numberaus limitations. Pointing
out the fact that hope, in one person can be much higher than another...

Roshanna Allgood from United States
Comment 6 of 40, added on January 28th, 2005 at 6:33 PM.

I have just begun studying Emily Dickinson for my Leaving Cert (the most
soul destroying of Irish exams!) and I was slightly confused by this poem.
Although the poets actual content seems positve, I can't help feeling that
there's an underlying sadness. The way the last lines are punctuated, the
discription of hope using a negative "never" and the use of the word "yet"
lead me to believe this. My teacher obviously disagrees. Am I just wrong?

Antoinette from Ireland
Comment 5 of 40, added on January 24th, 2005 at 4:44 PM.

"Hope" is an angel...here to save us all from despair.

The Unknown from Ireland
Comment 4 of 40, added on January 3rd, 2005 at 1:46 PM.

This poem has guided me through many troubled times. I have it memorized
and posted on my wall at work. It's great to see it in its original form
here, Emily capitalized and punctuated her poetry in unconventional ways
and in part, thereby conveyed her unconventional genius. This is the most
beautiful and powerful definition of hope that I have ever seen.

Tiffany from United States
Comment 3 of 40, added on December 22nd, 2004 at 11:11 AM.

I could have misunderstood the context of this poem, but I always
associated it with my mother, who passed away from cancer 3 years ago.We
even read this poem as part of her eulogy. It seemed to capture her spirit
and the reasons she lived for...to help those around her be brave.

Tamara from United States
Comment 2 of 40, added on November 22nd, 2004 at 1:04 PM.

Our recent presidential candidate's wife quoted this poem from her girlhood
memories, on the TODAY Show on 11/21/04. She was visiting with Ms. Couric.

Ann Grimsley
Comment 1 of 40, added on November 9th, 2004 at 5:01 PM.

I really like this poem. It's my favorite and I think that it's really
deep. Emily Dickinson must have had a intricate outlook on life to be able
to write such a masterpiece.

Carolina from United States

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Information about "Hope" is the thing with feathers

Poet: Emily Dickinson
Poem: 254. "Hope" is the thing with feathers
Volume: Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Year: 1955
Added: Jan 9 2004
Viewed: 297 times
Poem of the Day: Jan 19 2004

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