Succeeding in life, or achieving one’s own goals, seems to be the central theme in everyone’s life as is in Emily Dickinson’s poetry. Dickinson expresses the lessons learned in life throughout her poems. There can be many hardships and obstacles preventing one from their own succession. The prevailing of these obstacles leads to one’s success is life. In the poem “’Hope’ is the thing with feathers…” Dickinson uses a bird metaphorically as hope. The feathers as she tells are the hope in a person.
The feathers create the wing and let the bird fly so in a sense it’s as if hope is lost in one place and can be found in another, as if flying to a new hope. In another sense somebody’s wings, or hopes, can be broken down by life’s hardships which can lead to a sense of hopelessness. Hope perches in the soul which Dickinson uses as the home of the bird, perch, and the soul metaphorically. The bird lives from support of its perch; one’s hope is within one’s soul.
Without the support of the perch the bird’s nest will fall. Without the soul, one loses hope in everything that means something to them. And sings the tune without the words; and never stops-at all”. Dickinson continues to use a bird as a metaphor for hope, but in this stanza she speaks of the bird’s singing. The bird’s song is also used for hope. The bird “never stops-at all” is referring to the song and one’s never ending hope. “And sore must be the storm…” is used to refer to the guilt and pain somebody or something that crushes the hope that others will feel. “I’ve heard it on the chillest land; And on the strangest Sea; yet, never, in extremity; it asked a crumb of me” (Dickinson 9-12).
Rad also We grow accustomed to the darkIn the last stanzas of the poem, Dickinson, refers to hope as being able to be found everywhere, or in the chillest land or on the strangest sea. Hope will be there for you and won’t ask anything from you. There should be hope in everyone who has a soul. This hope that is felt is for the continuance of one’s life because without hope, one does not succeed in what is to be accomplished; life. Success is the goal and key to life. Success can differ from person to person based on what they want to achieve. “Success is counted sweetest; by those who ne’er succeed…” (Dickinson 1-4).
This can also be made as a reference to envy.People want what they do not have. To feel success at its sweetest, “to comprehend a nectar” one must feel the “sorest need” or great hardship either through failure or with obstacles. Overcoming these obstacles will lead to one’s success and to some, success is the sweetest to those who cherish the opportunity. The “Purple Host” who took the enemy flag does not know victory better than the defeated enemies. “As he defeated-dying; on whose forbidden ear; the distant strains …” Dickinson explains in the last stanzas of her poem that the defeated army understands the success of victory better than the victors.
The reasoning behind this is that in order to understand the feeling of succeeding one must feel failure first to truly understand triumph. The victors do not know failure, which in this case is death, which Dickinson states will prevent them from understanding triumph or success. Succeeding in life to some is to become recognized and to be known by the public or achieving fame. “I’m nobody! Who are you,” Dickinson was not known by the public through her lifetime and she dreaded her infamous life. “Don’t tell!They’d banish us-you know” refers to not being accepted by society and being out cast for being different than others.
“How dreary-to be-Somebody; how public-like a frog; to tell your name-the livelong day; to an admiring bog! ” (Dickinson 5-8) is a reference implying that her private secretive life is of her preference. Being secluded is better than being in the mess of things. “How public like a frog to tell your name the livelong day”, so she’d rather not have to worry about keeping a good name if it’s going to be a nuisance to her, “To an admiring bog”, which she refers to as the judging public.The success she wishes to achieve is for her and not for anybody else. Achieving life’s goals should be for one’s own satisfaction.
Emily Dickinson’s poetry can be referenced to many things in life. Succeeding in life, to one’s preference, seems to be the central theme in her poetry. Whether it’s hope in succeeding, failing to learn to succeed, or achieving fame from your success, everyone has goals to achieve. These goals will lead the succession in life.