Emily Brontë is considered as one of the greatest British poets ever lived. In times of darkness, you can always turn to her for comfort. Poems such as “Hope” inspire, motivate and do what the title tells us: give hope or just hope.


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About the poem

What defines hope? This can be different for many of us. As for the poem, Brontë left us, it’s through the metaphors that one deteriorates hope. When reading this poem, one cannot think about the moment that it’s thin as it gets and there is only the comfort of something other, something not from this planet, something divine; to give comfort.

But is there reason to doubt? In times of sorrow, one tends to forget about hope. Making this the timid friend, that Brontë tells us about. A friend who will keep his distance, but will always be there.

The words “grated den” suggest the poetess might be in captivity; in a prison. Is this the case? Again, you are stepping into the metaphor trap here. The poetess is locked, but not in a prison. She could be alive and doesn’t want to live. A life that is dominated by (those) who are nothing more than selfish-hearted.

There is more because the poem turns to a conversation between the poetess and the subject she writes about. It has made her turn away. It’s useless to understand this thing called hope. A relationship between them is hard – but they are indeed tied together. In the end, the poetess has the belief, that it’s all false. She will be haunted by false thoughts. In the end, Brontë becomes angry and states it could have taken away all of her pain, but didn’t.



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 all my frenzied pain,
Stretched her wings, and soared to heaven,
Went, and ne’er returned again!

— Emily Brontë


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