Right from the outset of the poem, Dickinson compares hope to a bird, "Hope is the thing with feathers" (1).Thisfirst line sets the stage for the rest of the poem, in that from this point on the reader will see just how Dickinson believes hope is like a bird.Following thefirst line Dickinson describes how hope resides within us, by using certain actions of a bird with an underlying meaning of what she is really trying to say.
That perches in the soul-
And sings the tune without the words-
And never stops – at all – (2-4).
As a bird perches on a tree branch, so does hope perch inside each of our souls.However hope does not sing out like a bird in his song, but rather instead burns within us never being able to be put into words.But this hope always lets its presence be known just as a bird always sings its song to let other birds know of its presence.In the next stanza Dickinson describes the hardships throughout life that try to kill the hope inside of each of us.
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm – (5-8).
In line five Dickinson is saying that in the worst hardships of our lives, the Gale, hope is stronger then ever before.A bird sings loudest in these difficult times, just as hope tends to erupt out of our body and take action.But just as in reality there are those times in ones life that are just too hard to deal with.The violent storm is compared to the times in our life when we feel like there is no hope left.