rebecca_in_blue: (red riding hood)
[personal profile] rebecca_in_blue
I had such a strange dream last night. I was in a very small, crowded attic room with Sara, Adam, and one of my old college poetry professors. The room was full of fancy, old-fashioned furniture, like a bed on a very ornate brass stand, with lace-trimmed sheets and pillows. The windows were open, and outside I could see sunshine and leafy green tree branches. We were there for a poetry class. It was a regular thing for us, and we always started the class with one of us reading a poem of our choice. In the dream, it was my turn, but I had forgotten to bring my poetry book, so I decided to recite one instead. I have a number of poems memorized, but for some reason, I chose one that I didn't know all that well, "Hope," by Emily Dickinson.

This poem was in my tenth-grade English textbook, accompanied by the below painting (which I only remember because I was pretty big into René Magritte in high school). I really loved it when I first read it, and since then, my liking for it has waned, but it's still okay.

La grande famille, 1963 oil-painting by René Magritte

Anyway, back to my dream. I recited the first stanza perfectly.

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

I got most of the second stanza right, only messed up on a few words.

And sweetest in the gale is heard
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

But I couldn't remember the third stanza at all. In reality, it's this:

I've heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea
Yet, never, in extremity
It asked a crumb of me

But in the dream, I blanked and instead recited this stanza from another Dickinson poem, "Morning," which I've had memorized ever since I read it in our Childcraft Poems & Rhymes book as I kid. It's pretty obviously from a different poem than the previous stanzas of "Hope," but no one in the dream noticed.

Has it feet like water lilies?
Has it feathers like a bird?
Is it brought from famous countries
Of which I've never heard?
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rebecca_in_blue: (Default)

March 2013


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