Poets on Poeting: Emily Dickinson

For this Advent season--and at a time when one might easily think this ragamuffin world is filled with nothing but war and wretchedness, I offer a favorite swift&strong winter bird of a poem by the lovely Emily Dickinson. Whether you imagine it as nightingale, sparrow, lark, or some other majestic thing with wings, Hope soars and sings a reminder that it is ever there. Must be.

As sidenote, I am soon making a move from Portland, Oregon (where I have spent the last 2 1/1 years and grown to love its trees, streets, peoples) to Austin, Texas for a chance to change and pursue some poetry. And so, I am making mantra of Miss Dickinson's words.

Lastly, I'd encourage a visit to Donald Miller's blog. He's been writing a bit about the poetry of Billy Collins, and we had a lovely discussion about him in the midst of foodcoma on Thanksgiving--fantastic.

Peace to you all and Season's Greetings!


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.

1 comment:

  1. Dickinson is one of my favorites. Here in Texas we like to point out that many of her poems can be sung to the tune of the Yellow Rose of Texas.

    I'm sure you'll enjoy Austin. If you ever get a chance, look up Laity Lodge nearby.