'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

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Friday, 20 June 2014

Birdy Thoughts

I was reading a book (this one) yesterday, and the author quoted the first two lines from a poem by Emily Dickinson:

"Hope is the thing with feathers/ that perches in the soul"...

It seemed lovely to me so I jotted it down.  Later I found myself wondering how the rest of the poem went, and, feeling inspired by all the painting I've been doing,  found myself jotting my own version, rather than look it up on Google.


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul.

Fear is the thing with scales
That coils in a hole.

Courage is that with fur and teeth
That sits atop a hill.

And Love combines them all
Ground to power in its mill.



An image to go with it, is this one from Leunig:


10 comments:

  1. I'll certainly go along with your idea of 'fear'. Hate them!

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  2. I think I understand your version better than I understand the original.

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  3. Good to see you back.
    I love this first line. Though, having had to look the rest up, out of curiosity (after reading GB's comment) it is the best line. Yours is a nice creative version that makes more sense - to me!

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  4. It's good to see you back. You've been missed.

    Hoping to learn more about what makes you tick, I got caught up in Darren Naish's review of Thor Hanson's Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle but was completely overwhelmed. Reading scientific minutiae makes my head swim.

    I did like your poem, though. Is there a typo? Did you mean to say "ground to power" or "ground to powder"?

    I say again, glad to see you back. You've been gone too long.

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  5. Hello clever Lady, we've all missed you ! Love your version of the poem.

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  6. Hello all! How nice to find you have still been keeping an eye out for post from me.

    Cro: I think scale- and hole- aversion is programmed into all us primates.

    GB and VS: Thank you. A little more linear perhaps, but I'm sure my version is not as *good* as Emily's.

    Robert: I am glad to be back. I haven't read the review, but, please don't elevate my reading powers too highly; truly, the book is quite accessible and written in a conversational and anecdotal style.
    However I must praise your own reading. I did indeed make a typo. But such is the abstract nature of poetry, it actually makes an interesting meaning the way it is, doesn't it?

    Helsie: Thank you, thank you! I feel like I've been away from friends...

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  7. Hello Kate! Denmark is on the line. I have also missed you. Lovely poem.

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  8. It's good to see you back Kate; you've been missed.

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  9. Thank you too Kirsten, Monica and Elizabeth :-)

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