Try It

Now it’s your turn to try a close read for yourself using another poem from Emily Dickinson entitled " 'Hope' is the thing with feathers." You will undoubtedly notice a similar style in this poem, much like we saw in the Learn It section of this module, which should help you begin your analysis.

Read the poem aloud to yourself several times to get its feel and rhythm. Next, follow the directions below to do a close read.

"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.

- Emily Dickinson

Step 1
: Download and print a copy of the " 'Hope' is the thing with feathers" poem worksheet.

Step 2: Follow the instructions for annotating and analyzing the poem in the " 'Hope' is the thing with feathers" poem worksheet.

Remember to:

  • Read with pencil in hand and mark up the text.
  • Purposefully underline and circle.
  • Use the margins for your thoughts.
  • Look for patterns in the text—repetitions, similarities, connections.
  • Ask questions about the patterns you see—wonder how and why.

Step 3: Click the Show Answer button below to compare your annotations with an example.

Now it's time to answer some text-dependent questions about the poem. Please provide short answers to the following questions about the poem.