Emily Dickinson. Hope is the Thing with Feathers

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There's a certain Slant of light,

Winter Afternoons --

That oppresses, like the Heft

Of Cathedral Tunes --


Heavenly Hurt, it gives us --

We can find no scar,

But internal difference,

Where the Meanings, are --


None may teach it -- Any --

'Tis the Seal Despair --

An imperial affliction

Sent us of the Air --


When it comes, the Landscape listens --

Shadows -- hold their breath --

When it goes, 'tis like the Distance

On the look of Death –



The Brain -- is wider than the Sky --

For -- put them side by side --

The one the other will contain

With ease -- and You -- beside --


The Brain is deeper than the sea --

For -- hold them -- Blue to Blue --

The one the other will absorb --

As Sponges -- Buckets -- do --


The Brain is just the weight of God --

For -- Heft them -- Pound for Pound --

And they will differ -- if they do --

As Syllable from Sound –



From Blank to Blank --

A Threadless Way

I pushed Mechanic feet --

To stop -- or perish -- or advance --

Alike indifferent --


If end I gained

It ends beyond

Indefinite disclosed --

I shut my eyes -- and groped as well

'Twas lighter -- to be Blind –



Drama's Vitallest Expression

is the Common Day

That arise and set about Us --

Other Tragedy


Perish in the Recitation --

This -- the best enact

When the Audience is scattered

And the Boxes shut --


"Hamlet" to Himself were Hamlet --

Had not Shakespeare wrote --

Though the "Romeo" left no Record

Of his Juliet,


It were infinite enacted

In the Human Heart --

Only Theatre recorded

Owner cannot shut --



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 chilliest land,

And on the strangest sea,

Yet,never, in extremity,

It asked a crumb of me.



I died for Beauty, but was scarce

Adjusted in the Tomb,

When One who died for Truth, was lain

In an adjoining Room.


He questioned softly why I failed?

"For Beauty," I replied.

"And I for Truth, -the Two are One;

We Brethren are," he said.


And so, as Kinsmen met a Night,

We talked between the Rooms,

Until the Moss had reached our lips,

And covered up our names.

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