Sunday 31 July 2011

'"Hope" is the thing with feathers'

'"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.

- Emily Dickinson
I'm going to lay something out right now - I'm a bit frightened of poetry. I am afraid, always, that I won't understand it. So I only read it on my own and I don't usually talk about it in case I get out of my depth. I feel the same way about poetry as I do about wine - I like a good red, but I don't know which is which and I wouldn't know what to choose on a list.

However, if I am at home alone secretly reading poetry to myself, I love to feel it wash over me like warm water.  I recently purchased a very geeky book called The Poetry of Birds - and dipping into it, I found the above poem by Emily Dickinson. It's like a painting in my head - and I want to keep it there, so I have been reading it over and over again. Like beloved songs, I like to hammer in poems if I like them - nuggets to save for later, like the taste of a good meal. So more poems may appear - but not of my own making - I'd like to have a go, but would not make any efforts public!

To the matter in hand - my second chapbook is well on its way. I have finished a working draft, but it is sitting to 'proof' like a loaf of bread. I have been working on the images to go inside - no previews available yet - since everything is all still on old-school paper at present - but I might post something soon. 

N.B. I'm writing this as if someone is reading it, which makes me laugh a bit, since I'm pretty sure nobody is... But it's easier to write for an audience than just for myself, so I'll keep going.


  1. Hi I'm reading :)

    We were very excited to see you on the Greenbelt line-up and followed their link to your blog..

    We'll be there in our shiny new tent and hope to bump into you!

    ps.. it is a beautiful poem; I thought it was yours until I reached the end!

    Annie xxx

  2. Thanks Annie, looking forward to seeing you there!
    Thank you for reading xx