Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Thing With Feathers

"Hope" is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without 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

When I read this poem Emily wrote about hope, I believe she is admonishing the person who would abash the hopeful with their feelings of negativity and anger. I think she is saying that negativity and anger destroys hope in ourselves and causes pain for those around us. Hope should be like a bird that flies freely yet perches on your windowsill to deliver the gift of song. It should be allowed to calm and console.

There are those who seemingly disagree:

Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man.
~Friedrich Neitzsche

He who has never hoped can never despair.
~Geroge Bernard Shaw

Where do you stand on the subject of hope. Do you agree with Emily, or do you agree with Neitzsche? If it were an easy question to answer, I wouldn't be asking. I'm undecided.

Happy Cactus Monday


Dee said...

Love it- the picture- the poem- a wonderful post! Happy Cactus Monday!

Teri C said...

It is all so perfect, the poem, the perfect photo and your commentary!

Lovelovelove your header!!!


Shadow said...

i can't agree with those critiques. without hope, life wouldn't be worth living. even if hope is in the form a dream being born. it's there. in everyone!

Outside In said...

Great photo! and love the poem too, thanks for visiting my blog it seems like a lot of people could not make comments so I placed a note in my post.

marianne said...

What a beautiful picture and food for thought.
I kind of like all 3 because they all have a different point of view....


Wicky Woo said...

Your poem and post truly hit home with me. I can say from experience that without hope, I would have nothing. To have someone share in my hope helps me keep going on. Thank you for this.

soulbrush said...

oh how lovely, without hope we have nothing. happy cactus monday fellow cactuteer. can't wait to get my atcs from you. yay!

Julie said...

Wow...that is one cool cactus. It looks needlesess and has ultra groovy blooms! I want one!!! You are so lucky to live out west!
Happy CM!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am most hopeful. Where would I be if I didn't always have hope??

Lovely photo. What are the chances of finding such a treasure?? Great. I hope to see this very thing in person some time.

Gaston Studio said...

Love that photo and the poem. I stand with Emily and Shaw.

Thanks for visiting my blog yesterday; thru your visit, I found you!


Travis Erwin said...

I can't imagine being without hope.

Maggie May said...

Whatever happens, we must always hope. Sometimes though it is not easy on the rare occasions when we feel everything is *hopeless*! Good post!

Thanks for visiting me.
As regards your enquiry about foxes leaving eggs inthe garden..... they are leaving eggs in a neighbour's garden now! Have left mine alone!

Woman in a Window said...

Context totally matters.

But for myself, I'd rather live with hope and pain than none at all.

mrsnesbitt said...

One of my favourite quotes is "When hope is crushed the spirit dies" I think or something very similar.

Fireblossom said...

I'm with Emily all the way. She is my favorite poet, with whom I feel a special affinity. And anyway, Neitzche was testosterone-poisoned and therefore not able to think clearly. ;-)