Presentation on theme: "Hope Is the Thing with Feathers"— Presentation transcript:
1 Hope Is the Thing with Feathers By Emily Dickinson
2 Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul, And sings the tune--without the words, And never stops at all,
3 And sweetest in the gale is heard; And sore must be the storm That could abash the little bird That kept so many warm.
4 I've heard it in the chillest land, And on the strangest sea; Yet, never, in extremity, It asked a crumb of me.
5 Diction gale (line 5) = (n.) strong wind storm “…and sweetest in the gale is heard…”sore (line 6) = (adj.) painful; distressing“…and sore must be the storm…”abash (line 7) = (v.) humble; weaken“…that could abash the little bird…”strangest (line 10) = (adj.) most foreign“…I’ve heard it…on the strangest sea…”extremity (line 11) = (n.) farthest point; danger“…never, in extremity, it asked a crumb of me.”Understanding Dickinson’s individual word choices is crucial to understanding her poem. The word “gale” in line 5 means “strong wind storm”—sweetest in the storm is heard. The word “sore” in line 6 is an adjective meaning painful or distressing—and painful must be the storm. In line 7 the verb “abash” means “to humble” or “to weaken.” –that could weaken the little bird. In line 10, the word strangest most likely means “most foreign” The speaker here is saying she has heard hope in the most foreign places. In line 11, the word extremity could mean “farthest point” or “danger” –that hope never asked a crumb of the speaker even in the most distant or dangerous moments.
6 Figurative Language: Extended Metaphor “Hope is the thing with feathers” (line 1)“That perches in the soul” (line 2)The whole poem is an extended metaphor comparing hope to a bird. The statement in line 2 that hope “perches in the soul,” suggests that hope can be found in everyone, in our innermost selves.Hope is like a birdthat dwells within everyone.
7 “And sings the tune--without the words” (line 3) “And never stops at all” (line 4)Hope doesn’t need spoken wordsHope is always there.Lines 3 and 4 present two key concepts concerning hope: One is that hope is something that is not expressed in words but rather in a mood or feeling--much like music (even music without lyrics) can create a feeling or mood. The other concept is that hope is everpresent in each person.
8 “And sweetest in the gale is heard;” (line 5) The second stanza presents circumstances in which hope can be found. Line 5 suggests that hope is “sweetest” or provides the best comfort during the figurative storms of life.Hope is most welcome in the hardest times;
9 “And sore must be the storm (line 6) That could abash the little bird (line 7) That kept so many warm”(line 8)And people’s hardship must be quite severeIn order to weaken their hope, a hope thatso many others have been able to find comfort in.Lines 6-8 continue to explore the strength of hope by suggesting that only the worst of life’s “storms” or crises could weaken people’s hope for better times ahead.
10 “I've heard it in the chillest land,” (line 9) “And on the strangest sea;” (line 10) The third and last stanza develops two more ideas regarding hope. First, that hope exists across the globe in distant lands among all peoples of the world.Hope exists even in the harshest of places,And in the most distant lands
11 But hope has never, in the worst of times Required anything from me. “Yet, never, in extremity,” (line 11) “It asked a crumb of me.” (line 12)But hope has never, in the worst of timesRequired anything from me.And finally, like the bird that doesn’t ask for even a crumb of a handout, hope requires nothing from individuals in need of it—hope is simply there.
12 Tone Optimistic Confident Positive The tone of Dickinson’s poem is optimistic. While acknowledging that life’s difficulties can sometimes overwhelm people’s ability to maintain hope, the poem focuses on the strength of hope and its ability to sustain people in very dark times.
13 Structure and Sound Elements Three quatrainsRhyme SchemeABCB (slant rhyme)DEFGH(1) Hope is the thing with feathers (2) That perches in the soul, (3) And sings the tune--without the words, (4) And never stops at all,(5) And sweetest in the gale is heard; (6) And sore must be the storm (7) That could abash the little bird (8) That kept so many warm.(9) I've heard it in the chillest land, (10) And on the strangest sea; (11) Yet, never, in extremity, (12) It asked a crumb of me.The poem is made up of three 4 line stanzas or quatrains. Each quatrain follows a similar rhyming pattern with the 2nd and 4th lines of each stanza rhyming or, as in the case of the first stanza, nearly rhyming with Dickinson’s trademark slant rhyme. In Stanza 2, the 1st and 3rd lines rhyme, and in the last stanza, line 11 nearly rhymes with lines 10 and 12.
14 More Sound Elements Alliteration Line 3: And sings the tune--without the wordsLine 6: And sore must be the stormLine 10: And on the strangest sea;In addition to the regular rhyme scheme, another important sound element in this poem is alliteration. Dickinson’s use of alliteration in one line of each stanza adds to the musical quality of the poem and reinforces the concept of the song of hope referenced in line 3.
15 Theme Hope is always there for those who need it. The main theme of the poem is that hope will always be there when people need it.
16 ConclusionDickinson’s poem optimistically suggests that the song of hope can be found in everyone, that it is always there when it is most needed. The speaker suggests that no special effort is needed to feel hope, that it naturally comes to those who need it most.Dickinson’s poem optimistically suggests that the song of hope can be found in everyone, that it is always there when it is most needed. The speaker suggests that no special effort is needed to feel hope, that it naturally comes to those who need it most.