Three Views of Hope


“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.

Emily Dickinson


The Darkling Thrush

I leant upon a coppice gate
      When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
      The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
      Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
      Had sought their household fires.

The land’s sharp features seemed to be
      The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
      The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
      Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
      Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
      The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
      Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
      In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
      Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
      Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
      Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
      His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
      And I was unaware.

Thomas Hardy

As for me it was a long night. Dusty was agitated, I was up with him at 11, again at 1. Awakened from sleep, with no way to solve his problems, I got angry. (“You stupid, fucking dog. What do you want me to do? Out, just get out!”) Bear thought I was angry because of her, went out and wouldn’t come back in. I had to go out and persuade her in the deep cold of the dark morning. There was a 3 am clean up job. I’m not sure I want to keep writing a blog that’s more and more a recitation of events in my daily life, and that’s what this has been becoming. Opinions welcome.

In any case, I love these two poems and this scene from Clockwise is one of the funniest in any film I’ve seen.

23 thoughts on “Three Views of Hope

  1. I enjoy reading your writes so carry on. And I am ashamed to admit that I had never heard of the film Clockwise, but will catch up on that one. When John Cleese is involved they are always good.

  2. Two poems and John Cleese, what’s not to like. Sorry it was a hard night, I do appreciate how exhausting and trying it is. I enjoy your quotidian updates along with your other contributions.

  3. Martha, I always believe if you write from the heart you can’t go wrong. Sometimes that’s about those wonky nights. Hope you and Dusty, and Bear have a better night.

  4. Everyone has a different perspective on things. You don’t write recitations, Martha. Your every day stuff is different than mine. Parker threw up all her dinner tonight and I posted a photo of dogs. WTH, right? I love the differences we all have. It’s interesting stuff to me!

  5. I always enjoy your posts – especially when they are about your everyday life with the dogs. Everyone’s world is interesting to the person who is not living it. Keep writing what your heart speaks.

    • I just find it boring (to me) to write about daily life all the time. I’m also not all that enchanted by the prompts but after 5+ years of that, it kind of makes sense. I’m not sure what my future as a blog writer will be, but I think it will be writing when I want to and have something to say. I’ll probably look in on the prompts and if something hits me, I’ll write it. Today’s was absurd, so I’m not playing.

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