In times of darkness, one can always turn to poetry for comfort. Especially poems like the one Emily Brontë left us: Hope.

About Hope

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 hope is 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, when it comes to hope? 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” suggests the poetess might be in captivity; in a prison. Is this really the case? Again, you are stepping into the metaphor trap here. The poetess is locked, but not in a prison. It could be a live, that she doesn’t want to live. A live, that is dominated by those (men), who are nothing more than “selfish-hearted men.”

There is more, because the poem turns to a conversation between the poetess and Hope. Hope 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 hope is indeed false. She will be haunted by false hope. At the end, Brontë gets angry and states that hope could have taken away all of her pain. If only…



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 Bronte

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