Poem 254 – by Emily Dickinson
“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.
Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was a reclusive American Poet, almost unrecognized during her own life.
She was born in Massachusetts in 1830. Although part of a prominent family with strong ties to its community, Dickinson lived much of her life in reclusive isolation. She had a normal life when she was young , her days filled with schooling, reading, explorations of nature, religious activities, significant friendships, and several key encounters with poetry.. When she became an adult, she spent more and more time alone and started wearing only white. The locals considered her an eccentric, also for her reluctance to greet guests or, later in life, to even leave her bedroom. Dickinson never married, and most friendships between her and others depended entirely upon correspondence.
Her quiet life was infused with a creative energy that produced almost 1800 poems and a profusion of vibrant letters During her lifetime the few poems that were published were usually altered significantly by the publishers to fit the conventional poetic rules of the time. She preferred to share her work privately with family and friends.
Her poems are unique for the era in which she wrote; they contain short lines, typically lack titles, and often use slant rhyme as well as unconventional capitalization and punctuation. Many of them are about death and immortality, two recurring topics in letters to her friends. Some deal with wild flowers that she grew for medicinal purposes and she used to show her mood in her poems
Therefore almost all her poetry remained virtually unpublished until after she died on May 15, 1886. After her death, her younger sister discovered her poems that were brought to the attention of the wider world
She died of nephritis at the age of 55. Dickinson was buried, laid in a white coffin with vanilla-scented heliotrope, an orchid, and blue field violets. At her request, her coffin was not driven but carried through fields of buttercups for burial.