“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.
Isn’t that poem beautiful? It was written by Emily Dickinson, the great American poet, and recently was featured in Joshilyn Jackson‘s beautiful book Someone Else’s Love Story. (Lucky me has an ARC and got the author to sign it!)
Hope is a popular topic. For instance, Goodreads shows 7,156 quotes about the subject. One of its definitions, according to Merriam-Webster, is “to cherish a desire with anticipation“. Isn’t that lovely? I have a desire that I cherish?
The state-run scholarship program in Georgia (funded by the lottery), is called HOPE. According to Yahoo Answers, 102 cities in the U.S. have the word “hope” in their names. (You may not remember that former President Bill Clinton is from Hope, Arkansas.)
And according to the Social Security Administration (yes, they compile this data), the name Hope was most popular in 1999. (Click here to see how its popularity varied – not by much – since 1900; you have to type the name in again to see the graph.) (Compare that to my middle name, Savannah, which was most popular in 2007; the difference in the graphs, tho, is quite interesting, at least to a geek like me.)
But what really is hope? Hope is just what Emily describes: it is an emotion that keeps singing, regardless of the circumstance. And the word itself is beautiful; just whisper it to yourself a few times: hope. hope. hope.
Thanks to my mother-in-law, Christy, for this topic idea. As I’ve mentioned somewhere, at some point, my darling hubs said he has always loved my hope, that it’s the best thing about me. Even at my darkest (which I’ve been very near lately), I still retain my hope, my most cherished, anticipated desire, that things will get better.
Today, my partners Gareth S. Young wrote about Helicopters, Samantha Bryant wrote about Helen (a character in her novel), and Kristi Brooks wrote a poem called “Heroes“. Yesterday, Mark Ethridge wrote beautifully about Green (sorta; just go read it); he’s a pantser like me, and his H will probably be up at the very last minute.
Oh, and in my #GNUTerryPratchett post, I completely forgot to add the hilarious anthem for Ankh-Morpork, the big city on the Discworld. PTerry was asked to write the anthem of the city for the BBC, which was performed (according to him, just the once), by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, with Clare Rutter as the soprano, who tackled the off-beat subject with studied professionalism. (If you go to the youtube page, you’ll be able to read the lyrics and the joke behind it.) (I’m giggling now almost as much as I cried yesterday.) (Seriously, you’ll never hear opera in the same way again.)