So I had a friend recently tell me that hope is her anthem. Around the same time, the Night Vale podcast tweeted, “Hope is a thing with claws/that burrows in the chest/and digs and digs and digs/and never lets you rest.” Which is, of course, a reference to “Hope” by Emily Dickinson, which goes:
“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.
This is one of only a handful of poems that I recognize. And I love this poem. But hearing Night Vale’s version, I realized that hope is possibly the most dangerous drug known to humankind. Because it never asked a crumb of Emily and yet it never died. Where is it getting its power from? What is it trying to do? I think that hope is a thing that burrows into your heart and makes you forever unhappy because things could always be better.
And now the weather.