Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Time To "Hope Up"

On last night's Daily Show, Jon Stewart asked Barack Obama to "hope up" a few phrases, including a cell-phone pitch and an Edie Brickell introduction. The bit didn't really work, mostly because Obama can't put himself at a remove from his own hope-making engine, which runs on smile and sincerity and deep, proven belief that accomplishment in the face of obstacles is an engine of its own.

Emily Dickinson's observation that "hope is the thing with feathers" (which I've always conflated with Woody Allen's book Without Feathers) explains it nicely, so at the risk of two poetry days in a row, if that is ever a risk:
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.

"Hope up" your life today, and if you're a Pennsylvania Democrat, don't let anything keep you from voting!

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