Sunday, May 15, 2011

An R.I.P. Anniversary: Poet Emily Dickinson

The poet Emily Dickinson died today in 1886 at the age of 55. Cause: nephritis. House-bound by inclination, solitary by nature, she had not left home - literally - since 1865. In her name and honor I thought I'd share one of my favorite Dickinson poems.


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.

While it's not necessarily true that hope costs us nothing, I still like this poem since I am, despite my outward attitude, an essentially hopeful person. (A surprise to some, I know.)

To read about Emily Dickinson's life.


  1. Nice to see Emily this gray spring day. She's always good.

    You are a hopeful person by my reading of the blogs here. I am too, but some days are tough, and hope can vanish for awhile, only to return when one feels physically okay.

    That thing with features does ride on my shoulder most days.

  2. Kathy: Yeah, my shoulders too. The sun keeps peeping out from behind some clouds today, but mostly it's just a lackluster day. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

  3. I hadn't seen the quote about growing older until just now. It is very appropriate.

    We, despite aches, pains, graying hair, are new every day, learning new things, having new experiences, meeting new people in reality or cyberspace. It's true.

    Also, I must add finding new authors and books.

  4. Kathy: It's a great quote. You have to keep each day new. Of course some days are harder than others, but on the whole, we have to keep moving forward.


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