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 chilliest land, and on the strangest sea; yet, never, in extremity, it asked a crumb of me. Analysis of the poem In first stanza Dickson defines hope by comparing it to a bird, which is metaphor- a guru of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity.
The poem examines the abstract idea of hope in the free spirit off bird. Hope is an animate thing, it is inanimate, but giving hope feathers she begins to create an image hope in our minds. Feathers represent hope because feathers enable you to fly and offer the image of flying away to a new hope, a new beginning. Broken feather of a person breaks the hope of the person. Their wings have been broken and they no longer have the power to hope…
That perches in the soul” in these lines Dickinson continues to use the imagery (the ability to form mental images of things or events) of a bird to describe hope. Hope doesn’t need spoken words. Hope is always there. Hope, she is implying, perches or roosts in our soul. The soul is the home for hope. It can also be seen as a metaphor. Hope rests in our soul the way a bird rests on its perch. Birds never stop singing their song of hope. In second Stanza Dickinson uses the next three lines to metaphorically describe what a person who destroys hope feels like.
And sweetest in the gale is heard” describes the bird’s song of hope as sweetest in the wind. Hope is most welcome in the hardest times. A person who destroys hope with a storm of anger and negativity feels the pain they cause in others. Dickinson uses a powerful image of a person embarrassing the bird of hope that gives comfort and warmth for so many. The destroyer of hope causes pain and soreness that hurts them the most. In third stanza “Vie heard it in the chilliest lands,” Dickinson offers the reader another reason to have hope.
It is heard even in the coldest, saddest lands. Hope is eternal and everywhere. The birds song of hope is even heard “And on the strangest sea. ” Hope exists for everyone. In the last two lines, Dickinson informs us that the bird of hope asks for no favor or price in return for its sweet song. Hope is a free gift. It exists for all of us. All we must do is not clip the wings of hope and let it fly and sing freely. Its song can be heard over the strangest seas, coldest lands, and in the worst storms. It is a song that never ends as long as we do not let it.
In this poem there is also Alliteration (the commencement of two or more words of a word group with the same letter) present in it. “Without the words,” “And sore must be the storm” and “And on the strangest sea” Dickinson poem optimistically suggests that the song of hope can be found in everyone that it is always there when it is most needed. The speaker suggests that no special effort is needed to feel hope, that it naturally comes to those who need it most. Theme of the poem is that hope is always there for those who need it.