Poetry Friday — Hope

I’ve shared this poem before, one I penned a couple of years ago as my own take on hope after reflecting on Emily Dickinson’s “Hope is the Thing with Feathers”. It seems that the euphoria *and* the pain of hope are recurring themes in my life, and sharing this poem again only serves to echo that cycle. Perhaps you can relate?


Hope refuses to perch
as if she had arrived for only a visit,
like so many flitting wings
on the branches of a bloodwood tree,
weaving instead feathers from her breast
into the fabric of my soul.

Her fussing brings pain,
reminding me of a presence I’ve tried
to ignore, preferring instead

            a familiar landscape of barren desert,
averting my eyes from the want within,
growing as if shielded from sun, protected

from possibilities until they would

weigh my branches with promise.

But hope, feathered hope, is already here,
nestled so sweetly for laying,

and I await with the pain
of expectation.

–Kristy Dempsey (2007, all rights reserved)

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ETA: Oh! I forgot to say that ME WITH YOU is the Poetry Friday Picture Book of the Day over at Anastasia Suen’s six traits blog!

22 thoughts on “Poetry Friday — Hope

    1. Well, they keep close company for me, anyway. I think maybe it’s the possibility of hope fulfilled vs. the possibility of hope deferred, and I can’t maintain a balance between the two.

  1. Hi, Kristy,
    Lovely poem. and Me with You looks lovely, too. I just “bumped into you” at the mailbox on Joyce’s blog,and hope you dont mind me adding you to my friends list. Your blog looks inspiring!

  2. I’m glad you mentioned this on Barb’s entry–otherwise, I might have missed it. Your lovely poem really resonates with me. Sometimes hope is partnered with despair or discouragement or, yes, pain. But it’s a constant companion for me, and I’m grateful.

    PS I emailed you my home address for those book plates. Did you receive it? I decided to go ahead and give my sister her copy of ME WITH YOU before the autographed plate arrived, and I’m glad I did, because she loves (LOVES) it! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Melodye. I did get your address and my bookplates just arrived today. I’ll send them off soon! (And thanks for telling me your sister loved it. You made me happy!)

  3. Anonymous

    There has been quite a bit of talk about Ms. Dickinson’s poem lately. I recently read Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson. She quotes the poem in the story. Enjoyed your selection. Thank you.

  4. Anonymous

    The poem is an open branch itself, making a space for hope to nest. Thanks for sharing it! I need to get my hands on ME WITH YOU. It looks so good!

  5. Love the poem! That pesky bird sometimes taunts me, too.

    Now I have to go check out the review of your book, and reserve FEATHERS from the library! I love how Poetry Friday doubles and triples my reading in such intertwined ways!

    1. Oh, it’s the pain of those possibilities and desires taking flight that gets me, the walking the line between reigning them in because I don’t want to be hurt, and setting them loose to actually get somewhere. 🙂

  6. Beautiful poem, Kristy. I love the last line because it is the “pain of expectation” for me too!

    BTW – Google Alerts. For the heck of it I set one up for you to see if could make it work. You need to put your book title in quotes and then your name in quotes and then you only get your stuff. 🙂

      1. Okay, call me a dunce, but that would work separately from the one that is just “Kristy Dempsey” so I need both, right? One that would just track my name and one that would track my name + my book title?

      2. Yes. I’d do two of them since the title of your book is an often used phrase. I have a lot of alerts and just have my email filter them each to a folder that I can quickly scan.

        I have “Susan Taylor Brown” and then I have each of my books so there is overlap. But it doesn’t take much time to do a quick scan.

        Oh and you could also do “Kristy Dempsey” “picture book”

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