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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You will find many definitions or visualizations of hope.  Given the wide open nature of the question, it will lend itself to such divergence.  For my bet, I cannot shake off Emily Dickinson's description of how hope looks.  She uses the metaphor of the bird to describe hope when she says, "Hope is the thing with feathers/ That perches in the soul."  This conception of hope as a bird, capable of flight and nestling in one's heart and psyche brings to light a vivid picture of hope.  She continues to describe it as one that "sings a tune" that is ceaseless.  This helps to create hope as a picture where goodness, truth, and beauty are limitless in the song of the bird.  As she continues to describe the song of hope and how it it is represented in the form of the bird, her poem concludes with a selfless picture of hope as it nourishes us, yet asking little in return:  "Yet never in extremity/ It asked a crumb of me."  This picture of hope is one that inspires and galvanized individuals into action, yet never demanding anything from us, except a home for which it nestles and perches in our hearts and minds.