Summary / Analysis
Emily Dickinson personifies “Hope” as a sweet singing bird that is always there for you. In stating that the storm must be sore to hurt the confidence of the bird, Emily is saying a person must be unusually upset/angry to crush people’s hopes. In the final stanza, she delights in that hope is always there, no matter how sad or difficult things can get (“chillest land”), or how uncertain the future may seem (“the strangest Sea”). She concludes the poem by attributing hope with one final characteristic, which is that it is unselfish and asks nothing of her. To this point, Emily describes something almost divine. She uses personification to give the concept of hope a body- which in this case is a bird. Once she has established a body for hope, she can then express its beauty– that is the brilliance of this poem. Emily effectively shows how divine and perfect hope is as a concept.