Hope is the thing with feathers
Hope is [the]1 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.
Translation(s): FRE GER GER
List of language codes
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View original text (without footnotes)
1 Syderman: "a"; further changes may exist not noted.
Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Leonard Berkowitz (b. 1926), "Hope", published 1968 [SATB chorus a cappella], from Four Songs on Poems of Emily Dickinson [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
- by Gordon Ware Binkerd (1916 - 2003), "Hope is the thing with feathers" [SSAA chorus a cappella] [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
- by Otto Luening (1900 - 1996), "Hope is the thing with feathers", published 1961 [medium voice and piano], from Songs to Poems of Emily Dickinson [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
- by Ben Moore (b. 1960), "Hope is the thing with feathers" [voice and piano], from Eight Songs, no. 3. [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
- by Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928 - 2016), "Hope is the thing with feathers", 1972 [chorus a cappella], from Elämän kirja (A Book of Life), no. 5. [ sung text checked 1 time]
- by Robert Starer (1924 - 2001), "Hope is the thing with feathers", published 1977. [SATB chorus a cappella] [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
- by William Sydeman (b. 1928), "Hope is a thing with feathers", published 1970 [soprano or tenor and violoncello], from Three Songs after Emily Dickinson [ sung text not yet checked against a primary source]
Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):
- FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- GER German (Deutsch) (Walter A. Aue) , copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
- GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:26
Line count: 12
Word count: 69
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- Emily Ezust
L'Espoirest la chose avec des plumes
Language: French (Français) after the English
« L'Espoir » est la chose avec des plumes --
Qui est perchée dans l'âme --
Et chante l'air sans les paroles --
Et ne s'arrête jamais -- jamais --
Et le plus doucement -- dans les Coups de vents -- on l'entend --
Et cruelle devrait être la tempête --
Qui pourrait rendre confus le petit Oiseau
Qui a gardé tant de personnes au chaud --
Je l'ai entendu dans le pays le plus froid --
Et sur la Mer la plus étrange --
Pourtant -- jamais -- rendu à toute Extrémité,
Il n'a demandé une miette -- à moi.
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About the headline (FAQ)
Translations of title(s):
"Hope" = "Espoir"
"Hope is a thing with feathers" = "L'Espoir est une chose avec des plumes"
"Hope is the thing with feathers" = "L'Espoir est la chose avec des plumes"
- Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2018 by Guy Laffaille, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.
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- a text in English by Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886), no title, appears in Poems by Emily Dickinson, first published 1891 GER GER
- This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Leonard Berkowitz, Gordon Ware Binkerd, Otto Luening, Ben Moore, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Robert Starer, William Sydeman. Go to the text.
Text added to the website: 2018-10-14.
Last modified: 2018-10-14 09:01:12
Line count: 12
Word count: 86