Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the tag “hope”

April: National Poetry Month


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 – (314)

by 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.

Take care–
Pam

POM: a bit of hope


January is a paradox for me. It’s both the longest month and shortest month. It seems long due to the dark and dreary everlasting winter days, yet short because of looming finals, grading papers, and preparing lessons for second semester. This is why I’m a fan of February. I could say it’s because February is the shortest month which means I’m that much closer to June and summer break. It could be because it’s the month of Valentine’s Day, and who doesn’t appreciate a holiday filled with love and chocolate?

I actually favor February because it’s a month that is filled with hope. Days are getting longer, snow is giving away to grassy patches, there is the sense of completing another school year as graduation day is nearer on the horizon. There is also the moment of pause to think, “This year will be even better than last year.”

To celebrate this feeling of hope, the Poem of the Month is “To Hope” by  Charlotte Smith

 Oh, Hope! thou soother sweet of human woes!

How shall I lure thee to my haunts forlorn!

For me wilt thou renew the wither’d rose,

And clear my painful path of pointed thorn?

Ah come, sweet nymph! in smiles and softness drest,

Like the young hours that lead the tender year,

Enchantress! come, and charm my cares to rest:—

Alas! the flatterer flies, and will not hear!

A prey to fear, anxiety, and pain,

Must I a sad existence still deplore?

Lo!—the flowers fade, but all the thorns remain, 

“For me the vernal garland blooms no more.”

Come then, “pale Misery’s love!” be thou my cure,

And I will bless thee, who, tho’ slow, art sure.

image: morguefile/lisasolonynko

A Balm for Katniss


The Hunger Games (film)

The Hunger Games (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As much I relish the Hunger Games series being brought to the big screen, there is one aspect of the story that continues to hamper my true enjoyment the progression of the series: the bleak monotony of despair.
Throughout the books, and in the film, all the main characters live in the clutches of fear. Fear of starvation, punishment, pain, and death all permeate the plot and are the motivators for the characters.
Something is needed to relieve the continual roller-coaster of despair and it isn’t going to come sailing down in a little tinkling parachute.
Prim hits on what’s needed at one point in the plot when she answers Katniss’s inquiry of what’s different now (Catching Fire) than before (Hunger Games): “Hope.”
And this is true–without hope there is despair.
Suzanne Collins creates an atmosphere of despair by utilizing Roman rule elements when she created the setting of the Hunger Games. It’s the plebeians versus the patricians complete with coliseum games as an opiate for the masses. One aspect which is not included in the Hunger Games is that many of the coliseum participants were Christians imprisoned by Roman rule. The emperors were threatened by this new religion because a new King threatened their rule: Jesus of Nazareth. He gave the people hope, something Roman rulers could not.

Jesus of Nazareth (miniseries)

Jesus of Nazareth (miniseries) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While hope is offered in the latest installment of the Hunger Games trilogy, there is a missing component which is so vital to completing hope’s salve to the wounds of despair: faith.
There is no religion, no deity, no promise of afterlife in the series, which is why despair and oppression permeate the mood of the story.
If possible, I would send Katniss a balm of hope in order to instill the need of faith that there is a better Way. Psalm 27 seems to be one parachute I could send.

Anyone out there have their own balm of hope they might send?

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