Thought for the Day - Hope is the thing with feathers.

I did Thought for the Day on BBC Radio Ulster a few weeks ago on Hope, using a bit of story, a bit of theology and a bit of poetry from Emily Dickinson. I thought I’d save it for Holy Week. 



The Emily Dickinson poem is beautiful. Writing about Dickinson, Jeanette Winterson said:


"Emily Dickinson barely left her homestead in Amherst, Massachusetts, but when we read, ‘My life stood - a loaded gun’ we know we have met an imagination that will detonate life, not decorate it. "  — Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal, pg. 117

The text of ‘“Hope” is the thing with feathers’ is below, as is a recording of the poem set to music by the delicious Julie Lee


"“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. "  — Hope is the thing with feathers (314). Emily Dickinson.

Thought for the Day - Hope is the thing with feathers.

I did Thought for the Day on BBC Radio Ulster a few weeks ago on Hope, using a bit of story, a bit of theology and a bit of poetry from Emily Dickinson. I thought I’d save it for Holy Week. 



The Emily Dickinson poem is beautiful. Writing about Dickinson in ‘Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal’, Jeanette Winterson said 


"Emily Dickinson barely left her homestead in Amherst, Massachusetts, but when we read, ‘My life stood - a loaded gun’ we know we have met an imagination that will detonate life, not decorate it. "  — Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal, pg. 117

The text of ‘“Hope” is the thing with feathers’ is below, as is a recording of the poem set to music by the delicious Julie Lee


"“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. "  — Hope is the thing with feathers (314). Emily Dickinson.

Thought for the Day - Hope is the thing with feathers.

I did a Thought for the Day on BBC Radio Ulster a few weeks ago on Hope, using a bit of story, a bit of theology and a bit of poetry from Emily Dickinson. I thought I’d save it for Holy Week. 



The Emily Dickinson poem is beautiful. Writing about Dickinson in ‘Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal’, Jeanette Winterson said 


"Emily Dickinson barely left her homestead in Amherst, Massachusetts, but when we read, ‘My life stood - a loaded gun’ we know we have met an imagination that will detonate life, not decorate it. "  — Jeanette Winterson, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal, pg. 117

The text of ‘“Hope” is the thing with feathers’ is below, as is a recording of the poem set to music by the delicious Julie Lee


"“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. "  — Hope is the thing with feathers (314). Emily Dickinson.

Article in Thresholds: British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy Spirituality journal.


I’ve got an article in the Spring 2014 edition of Thresholds, the quarterly publication of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy Spirituality division. The paper explores groupwork through the lens of the Irish phrase ‘Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine’. It is in the shelter of each other that the people live. You can get the article by clicking here or by clicking on the cover image.

Jonny McEwen, the artist whose work is featured on this site, is also a remarkable innovator and facilitator of community work projects. Together with Paul Hutchinson of Imagined Spaces, he developed a project called Re:Mapping, some stories from which are featured in this article. 

While you’re at it, the Thresholds Journal archive pages have some wonderful resources on spirituality and mental health, available for free. Check it out here. 

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