A friend who was going through this website trying to find a particular poem she remembered as being “about hope” did a search and was surprised to see how many poems have “hope” in their title. Even more poems use the word.
Maybe she doesn’t think of me as very hopeful. I don’t usually describe myself as an optimist or hopeful, but I’m not a pessimist and I do often feel hopeful about things.
The poem “Hope is the thing with feathers” is a poem by Emily Dickinson that inspired several of my poems. I’m not sure that Emily is all that hopeful in that poem and not all my “hope poems” are what you might describe as hopeful.
The bird who recently built its nest in the drainpipe is either very optimistic – or foolish. I feel that hopeful optimism is foolish in these darkly troubling times. Maybe the thing with feathers is optimism.
The title and final line here is a nod to Emily Dickinson’s poem in which the thing with feathers is hope in the form of a bird who seems unabashed by any troubles around it.
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.
Aldebaran in the constellation Taurus sent light – 65 years ago – that I see tonight.
Light that’s about as old as me.
The red giant, older than our Sun, is still the brightest star in Taurus.
The light bathes me in irrational hope.
January 6, 7, and 8, 2020 show a bright waxing gibbous moon in front of the constellation Taurus the Bull. Even with the lunar glare, you might see Aldebaran and the Pleiades star cluster, also known as the Seven Sisters.