Friday, January 27, 2017

Poetry Friday ~ Hope

Welcome to Poetry Friday.  I am "embracing challenges" by participating in this weekly community of all things poetry. Please join Carol at Beyond Literacy Link for this week's poetry round-up.

I just finished reading a debut novel by Ruth Behar, Lucky Broken Girl.  Ruthie, the main character is involved in an accident and has to be in a body cast for almost an entire year. Ruthie's struggle is based on the author's own experience as a "broken" child.

After Ruthie's cast is removed, she begins physical therapy.  At the clinic she meets a soldier who has lost a leg and is learning how to walk with a prosthesis, a factory worker who has severely injured her hand, and an elderly lady who fell in the shower and broke a hip.  Ruthie's therapist, Jessica, tells her,

"Don't lose hope."  

Because Ruthie is a reader and aspiring writer, she recalls Emily Dickinson's poem "'Hope' is the thing with feathers" each time Jessica tells her this.

As she looks around the clinic at all the heartbreak and suffering, she sees hope.
I found inspiration in Ruthie's struggle and in her courage, and I find the same in Dickinson's poem.  

We must keep hope deep in our souls and listen to its song during times of brokenness and in the midst of our own personal storms.  Where there is hope, we also find promise and peace, courage and healing.

May you find some "hope" as you read Dickinson's words today.

"Hope" is the thing with feathers ~ 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.


  1. Hope is in the hearts of the poets at PF today. It perches in the soul as Emily Dickinson so beautifully wrote. It is with faith that it surfaces to become a reality.

  2. Hope resides with faith and love. With these three -- we can no matter what. (1 Cor. 13)

  3. I've heard about this new book a little bit, Leigh Anne. What a lovely intro to the poem, too.

  4. Thanks for a good post. Happy Friday.

  5. A classic poem with all the words we need to hear today. That book sounds heartbreaking.

  6. My favorite Dickinson poem. Thank you for the reminder to cling fast to hope and for sharing what looks like an amazing book.

  7. I can't wait to read this award-winner!

  8. Beautiful, Leigh Anne! Are you familiar with the writings of Jan Richardson? Each year she does a Women's Christmas Retreat (a set of readings and writing prompts to be enjoyed in the leisurely days after Christmas). This year, her theme is Hope and the first few lines of that Dickinson poem have been echoing in my mind since reading some of her work. It's lovely to come here and read the entire poem. Lots of HOPE to you today! (The book you reviewed sounds wonderful too!)

  9. That first stanza has to be my favorite. Thank you for sharing this poem of hope, and for the book review as well. Have a great week, Leigh Anne!

  10. Thank you, Leigh Anne, for bringing this book to my attention. It's going on my list. Also, thank you for the Dickenson poem. I hadn't read this one since college and how beautiful it is!

  11. Thank you for reminding me of this beautiful poem, which like many people I read many years ago, but which had slipped from my memory.

  12. Lovely post and poem. So good to keep that bird of hope close, and maybe learn to sing its song ourselves.