April is National Poetry Month and is a time when I spotlight poetry as I teach. This year adjustments have to be made, but that doesn’t stop me from sharing a few of my favorite poems. The first one on my list is from 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.
Hope is just that: small, yet resilient, able to stay strong even in a tempest.
We are definitely in a tempest these days, and I pray that little voice of hope remains strong and provides the sweetness and surety that it will be heard.
The half-stripped trees
struck by a wind together,
the leaves flutter drily
and refuse to let go
or driven like hail
stream bitterly out to one side
where the salvias, hard carmine,—
like no leaf that ever was—
edge the bare garden.
by e.e. cummings
Eruptive lightnings flutter to and fro
Above the heights of immemorial hills;
Thirst-stricken air, dumb-throated, in its woe
Limply down-sagging, its limp body spills
Upon the earth. A panting silence fills
The empty vault of Night with shimmering bars
Of sullen silver, where the lake distils
Its misered bounty.—Hark! No whisper mars
The utter silence of the untranslated stars
I do relish a summer storm. The darkened, rumbly clouds. The sudden whoosh of wind with purpose bestirring the trees. The muggy air that heightens until there is either the release of rain, thunder, complemented with staccato flashes of lighting.
Yup–e.e. cummings got it spot on.