Thursday, April 19, 2012

Poem for an April Day #9: "Hope is the Thing with Feathers"

April is national poetry month.
This is my favorite poem by Emily Dickinson, and my class reads it at least once, regardless of what course I am teaching.  We've read it in the seventh grade, eighth grade, eleventh grade, twelfth grade, creative writing, mythology, whatever.    If I'm teaching, we're going to be reading this poem.

I never know what kind of lives my students lead when they leave my class.  Some of them tell me horrific stories of lives lived without hope.  Consequently, I try to leave them with this message from Ms. Dickinson, and hope that they don't forget it.

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 warm00

I've heard it in the chillest land--
And on the strangest Sea--
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb--of Me. 

     -Emily Dickinson


  1. Hey Mr. Brame this is Janera Griggs I was wondering if you still have the picture you took of me in the 11th grade on Emily Dickinson's "Hope is the thing with feathers"?

    1. Hey, Janera! It's so nice to hear from you!

      A picture of you having to do with "Hope is the Thing with Feathers," huh? Hmmmm. Are you holding a posterboard in this picture? I will have to go through some old files, but I will see if I can find it.

      Hope you are doing well.

  2. Yes! That's the one! Mr. Windgood sent it to Nashville without my permission and I never got it back from the people he sent it to. Also I have no clue where he is, he pretty much vanished..

    I'm doing fine by the way :)

    1. Well, I looked through a stack of old CDs with my old pictures on them. (I take a ton of pictures.) I can't find that one in particular, but if I ever come across it, I will reply to this thread. Sorry!

    2. I found it!