“Hope” is the Thing with Feathers
        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.

I’m not sure how the hours passed so quickly today, but the midnight bells will soon ring, and I have “miles to go before I sleep.” Poems keep popping up in my brain, so that is what I will post. I love this image of hope as a bird, a bird that sings a tune without the words (that’s how I’m feeling – just no words tonight). Hope is what you cling to when there are no words, I suppose.
Even a storm won’t stop this little Bird, nor will it be abashed. Yes, I looked it up to be sure – abash means to embarrass, to disconcert, to make ashamed or uneasy. A wordless Hope doesn’t have to be embarrassed, ashamed, or uneasy (nor do I…nor anyone who clings to Hope).
Does a bird ever beg or ask for a crumb? Yet it will offer its song, a quiet kind of confidence. Like Hope, perching in the soul, it costs nothing, but it means everything.
“We who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.” Hebrews 6:18-19
May all those who read this be filled with hope today and listen for its song.
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2 thoughts on “On Singing a Tune Without the Words

    1. Thanks for taking time to comment, Beth. I feel like I should apologize to Emily D. for “reading into” her poem something that she may not even have intended, but I love her simple, profound images. They speak to me. Glad you like it too!

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