Hope is the Thing With Feathers

Literary Tattoos: Hope is the Thing With Feathers Emily Dickinson

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 by Emily DickinsonLiterary Tattoos: Hope is the Thing With Feathers Emily Dickinson

It is my second tattoo. I got it because that poem helped me through
hard times. I was hearing impaired my whole life, and then I lost all
the hearing I had left when I was seventeen years old due to a rare
disorder. I was totally deaf for 7 months. I held out hope that it
would eventually come back. It never did. It happened at the worst
time, it was my last year in high school, I was on the dance team, I
was applying to college. I didnt know any people like me. I was so
alone. When I felt like just giving up and shutting myself out from
the “hearing world”, It sounds crazy but I guess you could say that I
made up a little bird that kept me going. It kept me company. the
bird helped me see the light, made me realize who my friends were,
pushed me to get straight A’s in school, taught me how to dance
without hearing the music, motivated me to go to the college I wanted
to even if it was far away from home, and it helped me use my
adversity in my artwork. I received a cochlear implant that year.
The day they turned it on, one of the first sounds I heard was a bird
singing when I was leaving the hospital. It was vague, because my
brain wasn’t used to hearing again, but I could hear it. It was like
I had set my bird free. So I put the first stanza of the poem on my
body because it is a good reminder of where I came from and how far
i’ve come. And to never forget my little bird.

Amy K.


  1. daiiizy says

    thats a great tattoo i want it Ofcourse it's going to be different but ever since i read her poem , That verse has stuck in my head I LOVE that Saying.

  2. sarah says

    beautiful tattoo!!! this is one of my favorite poems and means a ton to me as well. awe, emily…

    i love your script and especially love how much this tattoo means to you …. my favorite thing about tattoos is that they are often so close to a person's heart.



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