Hope Is the Thing with Feathers

If you remember from the last post, Hope Is the Thing with Feathers was the book written by Christopher Cokinos  that inspired the artistry of Todd McGrain. Ms. Jeannie just realized that the title came from a poem by this woman…

Do you recognize her?
Do you recognize her?

Emily Dickinson. She wrote the poem in 1861 at the age of 31.

Here it is in full:

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 Dickinson

It was written during the time in her life where Emily was just beginning to withdraw from public life. She spent her days at home, her birthplace,  the Homestead house in Amherst, MA surrounded by family and a few close friends.

Emily Dickinson's Homestead in Amhearst, MA
Emily Dickinson’s Homestead in Amhearst, MA

The house sat on 14 acres and was surrounded by trees and gardens where Emily drew inspiration for her poetry and writings.  There were plentiful garden beds where she would watch the birds dive and dart – the notions and assimilations fluttering about her mind.

It’s wonderful to think that Emily’s writing is still cause for inspiration over 150 years later and for such a noble book and equally noble art project as commemorating the lost birds of America.  Here she was, a reclusive soul,  interpreting the world how she saw it by putting thoughts to paper in Victorian era America, and now, free like all birds are, her words have taken flight to protect the very subjects she so admired. Ms. Jeannie just loves this. How one bit of creativity can spark another. You just never know how your words can affect others – so pick good ones, dear readers – they might just bloom into something extraordinary when you are least expecting it:)

Emily Dickinson, the wise. Photo via pinterest.
Emily Dickinson, the wise. Photo via pinterest.