Emily Dickinson uses a bird as a metaphor for hope. In the first stanza, she states that hope is a bird that never stops singing in the soul. This infers that hope is always there whenever we are at our lowest points and need something to cling on to. In the second stanza, she describes hope as sweet, warm, and something that can only be stopped by a disastrous experience. I think Emily is trying to say that to many of those who are down or feeling hopeless, the little hope that people discover makes hope really sweet. If you have ever found hope in a hopeless place, you would know how it felt; hope can bring a feeling of warmth through reassurance and belief of a better future. In the third Stanza, she says that hope is found everywhere, but never asks anything from people. Hope isn’t excludable and is available for anyone who needs something to believe in. It also comes for free and nobody needs to feed or reward it for it to stay with you. This poem takes the form of iambic trimeter that sometimes includes a fourth stress at the end of the line, such as “And sings the tune without the words.” Just like the other Emily Dickinson poem I analyzed, this poem includes many breaks from dashes.
“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.