A Slice of Hope

20 September 2022 TwoWritingTeachers.org

This week it is time for Ethical ELA’s Open Write. It’s a five-day poetry writing bonanza. There are always great prompts, classroom-ready for you to glean from. Please join us today and tomorrow, if you are so inclined.  Visit here, all are welcome.

Today’s prompt was “This But Not That” by Susan Ahlbrand. I wrote about Hope, as I often do, like here and here.

(After some literary friends)

Hope is a thing with feathers
But not a broken-winged bird that cannot fly
Hope is not a feathered frenzy
Dropped in a pot of boiling water

Hope is a tree of life
Taller and fuller; yes, taller than we ever dreamed possible
Not a stunted, stingy, small-minded shrub

Hope is a smile from the depths of cold December
Not filled with regrets—
Not a sea of stories, excuses to drown in

Hope is good and honest and worth the wait
Hope is not a white-washed façade called good

Hope is a shelter of rest and safety
Not a storm without a Captain

Hope is dark night with a sky full of stars
Hope is not bright daylight (when the same stars
are there but unknowable)

Hope is improbable beautiful,
Afraid of nothing
Like a bird that sings and never stops at all

They called to Hope, “This could
have been about anything,
but it’s about hope”

Now there’s a glimmer
A hint of hope

In order of appearance above…

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.
― Emily Dickinson

Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.
–Langston Hughes

(…of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’
–Alfred Lord Tennyson

All human wisdom is contained in these words, ‘Wait and Hope.’
–Alexandre Dumas

You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.
–Job 11:18

Only in the darkness can you see the stars.
–Martin Luther King

I want to think again of dangerous and noble things. I want to be light and frolicsome. I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing, as though I had wings.”
–Mary Oliver

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.
― Emily Dickinson

10 thoughts on “A Slice of Hope

  1. Denise, I love the nod to all these amazing poets, especially Emily and Mary. One of my favorite bible verses is Hebrews 11:1. We must never lose the audacity to hope.

  2. It is absolutely magical how you wove in so many other poets’ thoughts on hope. This is magnificent, Denise!

  3. I love how you wove all of this together, Denise, to create your own take on “hope.” Such a creative process!

  4. I read this on the site, but also love seeing it here. What a lovely weaving of hopeful lines from some of my favorite poets!

  5. This is wonderful. Hope is that which makes it possible for us to face all that comes our way in life. Thank you.

  6. Hope is…”not a sea of stories, excuses to drown in” is a powerful line for me.
    I appreciated your notes identifying each quoted line and putting them in context. But that also made me take another look to see which lines were your own <3

  7. Your imagery is so bold and clear and fills me with hope. Your allusions to other writers are beautiful. Thank you for inspiring hope!

  8. Denise, you had such a creative way of using your word and taking the existing lines, blending a Cento with a theme. It’s always so fun watching one prompt take such creative spins as everyone posts their writing. Yours stands out as one of my favorites of the day!

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