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 chilliest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
American poet born in Massachusetts who lived a mostly introverted and reclusive life. She was thought of as an eccentric by the locals and became known for her penchant for white clothing and her reluctance to greet guests or, later in life, even leave her room. Most of her friendships were carried out by correspondence. Dickinson was a prolific private poet but fewer than a dozen of her nearly eighteen hundred poems were published during her lifetime. Dickinson’s poems are unique for the era in which she wrote; they contain short lines, typically lack titles, and often use slant rhyme as well as unconventional capitalization and punctuation. Many of her poems deal with themes of death and immortality. Lavinia, Emily’s younger sister, discovered a cache of poems after Dickinson’s death in 1886. It was then that the breadth of Dickinson’s work became apparent. A complete and mostly unaltered collection of her poetry became available for the first time in 1955 when The Poems of Emily Dickinson was published by Thomas H. Johnson. Despite some unfavorable reviews and skepticism during the late 19th and early 20th century as to Dickinson’s literary prowess, she is now almost universally considered to be one of the most important American poets.
Jan Mankes (1889-1920)
A Dutch painter who produced around 200 paintings, 100 drawings and 50 prints before dying of tuberculosis at the age of 30. His restrained, detailed work ranged from self portraits to landscapes and studies of birds and animals. His work is now exhibited in the Scheringa Museum of Realism, the Museum of Modern Art at Arnhem and the Belvédère Museum at Heerenveen.