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The soul of The Poet


Hope by Emily Bronte

Hope was but a timid friend;

        She sat without the grated den,

Watching how my fate would tend,

       Even as selfish-hearted men.

 

She was cruel in her fear;

       Through the bars, one dreary day,

I looked out to see her there,

       And she turned her face away!

 

Like a false guard, false watch keeping,

       Still in strife, she whispered peace;

She would sing while I was weeping;

       If I listened, she would cease.

 

False she was, and unrelenting;

       When my last joys strewed the ground,

Even sorrow saw, repenting,

       Those sad relics scattered round;

 

Hope, whose whisper would have given

       Balm to my frenzied pain,

Stretched her wings, and soared to heaven,

       Went, and ne’er returned again!

Emily Bronte’s poem provides a glimpse into the soul of the poet. She casts herself in the role of an outsider, experiencing existence, like a flower, threatened by a fateful wind. Hope is not, “A timid friend,” but a creature of two faces; one promising to sooth her pain, the other rebutting her distressed advances, like a jaded existential psychiatrist.

The soul of the poet is a fragile entity. It is created by the spirit of observation, only to be destroyed by inevitability. However, when the soul marks reality’s soil, culminating in strokes of a pen upon paper, it helps shape the texture of the universe.

After Emily Bronte, other souls visited the physical realm. To how many of these have we humble, flesh and blood women and men gained access? The soul of the poet exists eternally.

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