The extraordinary thing about Emily Dickinson is that she wrote about 1,800 poems during her lifetime, but only a handful were published. Almost all of her poems were published posthumously, when they were discovered by her sister, and Dickinson was finally regarded as an innovator who introduced a different way of writing poetry.
Dickinson didn’t conform to traditional poetry writing styles. Instead, she used unique punctuation (much like e.e. cummings), she used near-perfect rhyme (known as slant rhyme), all her poems were untitled, and most of them were also very short. In a way, she was the Coco Chanel of the poetry world.
Continuing with National Poetry Month, here is a video of a Dickinson poem about holding onto hope and never giving up, no matter what comes your way.
Here is the complete text of the poem:
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.
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