I couldn’t appreciate Dickinson when I read her in college. Years later, I came across this piece again. To come back to a poem is to discover what has altered in you. You may or may not know why, but you are more than one form, you contain multitudes, to borrow Whitman’s unforgettable phrase.
I didn’t have room for this earlier but now I look at its littleness and poised flight with more wonder.
Hope is the thing with feathers
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.