Dear Ms. Emily Dickinson,

The first time I read your poem, “Hope Is the Thing with Feathers,” it made me feel confused because I felt both sad and happy about the idea of hope being represented by a bird in my soul. I pictured my soul as a clear human outline just floating around with a white branch in my stomach, and on that branch there was a bright, blue and yellow bird singing its song. Though, on the outside of the clear, white human, there was endless darkness that represented the troubles of the world. But hope shone brightly and threw out the darkness and happiness was restored.

The first thing I saw within the heart of the poem is bravery. It seemed to me, as if the little bird, embodying hope, can survive in the toughest storm or challenges. This thought made me feel that I could do anything and always come out knowing that hope will guide me, even when I am fearful and filled with negative thoughts.

The second thing that shone out of this poem was optimism. This theme told me to always be happy, even when you go up against the most difficult provocations. This concept of hope being with me always impacted my feelings more than my thoughts. I felt more optimistic as I read your simple but majestic poem. I felt really warm and happy inside.

Another unique thing that I saw jump out in front of me was the metaphor of hope being a bird, when you, Emily Dickinson, used that form of figurative language it made me think of hope in a whole other view. This theme gave me a ponderous sort of feeling. I asked myself, “Would I hurt a bird?” I realized my answer as soon as I asked it: no. Then that got me thinking again, “What is this poem trying to tell me?” It came to me; you, Emily, used a bird as a metaphor of hope because you’re supposed to protect hope in yourself and in others, not insult or crush it.

Yet, the last sentence, “Yet, never, in extremity, it asked a crumb of me,” was perplexing to me. I tied in all the themes I have just typed into a final conclusion: hope is a fragile thing that must be protected, yet it gives everyone endless bravery, happiness, and the most important of all, life. Hope is a beautiful thing of glory, but it never asks for anything in return. That’s what’s special. If you let hope live on in your soul, you will have no misery. Hope shall never stop.

I have had horrible, horrible baseball games played on my team, and I always lost hope. But your poem, Emily Dickinson, your poem as spoken through  and has said to me, “Never lose hope, for it will always be there no matter what happens.”

Ms. Dickinson, my absolute favorite line in your poem was, “And sings the tune without words, and never stops at all.” The reason I really love this line out of this wonderful piece of art is because it means something to me. Something extraordinary. This line told me that even in the windiest storms, the snowiest mountains, and the most excruciating baseball games, hope will always be there. Thank you for your inspiration, Emily Dickinson.



Alex Jacoby

Page last modified: April 7, 2016