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That Perches in the soul

Posted by Bob on October 30, 2006

In Reply to: That Perches in the soul posted by Smokey Stover on October 30, 2006

: : What does the exopression "That Perches in the soul" mean?

: : Thank you.

: Why do you capitalize "perches"? It appears to be a verb (which one does not capitalize), and even if it were a noun, it's a common noun. The clause appears to mean, "that sits or rests in the soul." THe antecedent of the clause is something that takes a perch (a seat or a position a bit apart, in real life probably an elevated, sometimes precarious, position) in one's soul--something that stays with you in that place from which emanates the "still, small voice" telling you to do the right thing.
: SS

I can't remember if Emily Dickinson capitalized Perches in the original manuscript, but the poem reads:
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.