“Despair” is the thing with weight: An “ill-conceived” correction of Emily

NaPoWriMo Day 5: Find an Emily Dickinson poem and take out all the dashes and line breaks. Make it just one big block of prose. Now, rebreak the lines. Add words where you want. Take out some words. Make your own poem out of it!


Despair is the thing with weight that sinks in the soul –

And sings a melancholy tune without any words at all –

It never stops – and unkindest in the gale – takes its toll –

So pleased must be the storm that could cause such a fall –

Nothing – sweet – is – heard; No – hope feathers – alight –

Abashed as a little bird in the strangest sea – no warmth at night –

I’ve heard desolation’s song in the chillest land –

And felt its penetrating soreness in my extremities –

Yet never did it take a crumb of me.

~Just L (April 5, 2015)

The original: “Hope” is the thing with feathers By 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.

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