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Image description: A white young man is standing in front of a orangish/whitish wall. He is wearing a white T-shirt, grey-ish pants, and a brown belt. He is signing “HOPE.”

Purpose: I translated this poem because it is commonly studied in school, and I wanted to provide access for the Deaf community. I also strongly recommend that you view Crom Saunders’s beautiful translation to gain more insight into the poem. The more ASL translations, the better we understand the poem.

Translation notes: I re-ordered the “chillest land” and “strangest Sea” to make it clear that the speaker is no longer in the previous storm. I also implied “Extremity” through the extreme conditions of previous experiences.

Title: [““Hope” is the thing with feathers”] J254 F314

Author: Emily Dickinson

English text:

“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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