In “Hope” is the Thing With Feathers, Emily Dickinson uses many techniques to make the poem more lively and fun to read.
In this poem, Emily Dickinson uses an irregular rhyming scheme of “abcb.” This means that in each of the three stanzas, the second and the fourth line rhymes with each other. Along with her irregular rhymes, she uses irregular punctuation to direct her readers into certain flow of the poem. In this poem, she uses many hyphens to emphasize the expenditures. This gives the poem the effect of soft, slow, feather floating in the air. She also capitalizes key words in the middle of sentences that are main symbols or have a big effect on the poem. This also points the reader’s eyes to these words so that they will pay closer attention to them.
Emily Dickinson compares the “Hope” to “the thing with feathers” or simply birds. This implies that hope has the ability to take someone up, or to heaven. The birds have feathers and therefore, are able to fly upward. This shows you that with hope, someone could get closer to heaven, or happiness. Hope is something that can lift someone’s soul or spirit up. She is also saying that hope or faith is the only thing that can get someone up to heaven because without hope, you have no feathers and therefore you will fall down to hell. It is like someone said, “There is no future without any hope.” Hope is what keeps us going and what makes our life worth living. If there was no hope, you will be better if you died and be stuck in hell because there is no point in living.
Hope is everywhere and is always there for you even though you do not realize what it is or feel its presence. It is just like “the tune without the words.” You may not realize exactly what the song is but you understand vaguely and what kind of song it is. You may not know the words, but the tune stays in your mind and you hum the tune over and over again. Hope is just like that. You may not know what it is but it is always in your mind and never stops “humming” its presence to you.
According to Dickinson’s poem, hope is described as being omnipresent and being able gives one the ability to get through whatever problems, turmoil, or trials we go through in life. In line 5 and 6, it states “And sweetest — in the Gale –is heard–.. And sore must be the storm-” . Gale is defined as a strong gust of wind, thus this “storm” is the image given by Dickinson to describe the turmoil and struggles we go through in life. As it states in line 6, “That could abash the little Bird”, these struggles and problems we have in life overshadow the hope that is always with us. Dickinson is trying to tell us that when troubling times come our way, hope is suppressed by these struggles we go through thus although hope is always there, it may not be seen by the individual. It is when we are able to see this hope, can it gives strength to overcome those times of need. Line 8, “That kept so many warm”, is stating the fact that when we have this hope instilled within us and we are able to “see” this hope, we feel a sense of comfort and security. When we lose sight of this hope, the individual would become scared and be filled sorrow but if we try to seek this hope it can always be obtained because hope is always felt the greatest during those times we really need it. Once we feel this sense of hope that gives us security that we seek in our lives, we will continue to seek this hope looking for this comfort, this warmth, that we sometimes lack during our times of need.
Hope exists everywhere: “in the chillest land” and “on the strangest Sea.” However, hope never asks you for help or asks you if it may give you hope. Instead, it is there no matter what you say or what you think. You cannot say, “I want some hope” or “I wish I had hope,” because hope is always there for you no matter what condition you are in. It is realizing this fact that will get you to hope itself. Hope is something that gives assurance, health, and strength. It does not take something away from you. It simply gives. Hope does not ask you if it can come inside you but it is a natural part that is within us, doing it’s duty equally among all.
The bird signifies hope as it is stated within this poem. The bird is the central part of this poster because it is the most important symbol found in this poem. The bird’s characteristics of being light and being able to fly up.. toward heaven, is used to describe hope. Hope can be defined as looking toward heaven for something better, such as a better life. In the Visual the bird has just bursts through the Grey clouds, which we have associated with the “storm” or “gale”. This “storm” symbolizes the struggles and strife we go through in life. These struggles try to suppress hope but hope (bird) continues to fly, and never ends as it is stated in this quote, “And never stops – at all – “. It has passed these struggles and brings the individual that much closer to what it hopes to achieve. The Family and the Cross found in the background are two of many things the people look towards for this hope that we all hope to achieve.
Different people turn or look to different things for hope. Religion, family, and success are just a few of these many things. The cross on our poster signifies and symbolizes religion. People turn to religion for the hope of being rescued from their turmoil and difficulties. The cross is above the storm in our poster because religion helps us to overcome and get past our problems Family is another symbol of hope because people turn to their families for comfort and safety. Family can also give hope when people are feeling discouraged. People also turn to success for hope as is symbolized by the money. Success gives some people satisfaction because they need not to worry about being in poverty. People are also filled with hope by having success because they have the means to sustain themselves.
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