Daily Prompt: Hope
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834):
Work Without Hope
All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair—
The bees are stirring—birds are on the wing—
And Winter, slumbering in the open air,
Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!
And I, the while, the sole unbusy thing,
Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing.
Yet well I ken the banks where amaranths blow,
Have traced the fount whence streams of nectar flow.
Bloom, O ye amaranths! bloom for whom ye may,
For me ye bloom not! Glide, rich streams, away!
With lips unbrighten’d, wreathless brow, I stroll:
And would you learn the spells that drowse my soul?
Work without Hope draws nectar in a sieve,
And Hope without an object cannot live.
And if Hope’s object never comes to bear,
what then? Does Emily’s feathered thing still sing
for free? Does Maya still know why? Despair
can shrivel raisins, rot the meat, and bring
a crust sicksweet to pop. A noun, a verb,
a fear, a guiding star, Hope feels that what
is wanted can be had. Hope is, I’ve heard,
a spring, the spring, that grows this tiny bird…
Photo credit first photo: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/requiemm/277551104/”>requiemm</a> via <a href=”http://foter.com/”>Foter.com</a> / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>CC BY-NC-ND</a>
Photo credit second photo: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/george_eastman_house/2720791262/”>George Eastman House</a> via <a href=”http://foter.com/”>Foter.com</a> / <a href=”http://flickr.com/commons/usage/”>No known copyright restrictions</a>
For the month of May, I will be posting something daily, namely some kind of respond to The Daily Post’s daily prompt or some other prompt, unless a poem or post visits me of its own accord, unbidden and welcomed. This one began at Coleridge and traveled through Dickinson, Angelou, and Hughes. It is unfinished.
I was first drawn into your post by the imagery of the maiden/angel, against/within the womb/moon, the cage open, her face upon closer inspection anguished, her hair sprouting tendrils of young plants…
“Hope feels that what is wanted can be had.” I believe in this and like your description. I also like the literary references. I hope your wings are spread and in flight you are free, even if hope’s object doesn’t come to bear.
Thank you for your poem.