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Three Poems by Emily Dickinson

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31820cb2d4
Medicine and the Arts
Free

Reprinted by permission of the publishers and the Trustees of Amherst College from The Poems of Emily Dickinson, Thomas H. Johnson, ed, Cambridge, Mass: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Copyright © 1951, 1955, 1979, 1983 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.

  1. “Hope” is the thing with feathers—
  2. 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 chilliest land—
    And on the strangest Sea—
    Yet, never in Extremity,
    It asked a crumb—of Me.
  3. Hope is a strange invention—
  4. A Patent of the Heart—
    In unremitting action
    Yet never wearing out—
    Of this electric Adjunct
    Not anything is known
    But its unique momentum
    Embellish all we own—
  5. Hope is a subtle Glutton—
  6. He feeds upon the Fair—
    And yet—inspected closely
    What Abstinence is there—
    His is the Halcyon Table—
    That never seats but One—
    And whatsoever is consumed
    The same amount remain—
© 2011 Association of American Medical Colleges