July 4 creeps in as fast as any other day of the year. What can an Englishman say about it and not appear ignorant or patronising?
I’ve been saving this poem by America’s Emily Dickinson for a suitable occasion. Perhaps we need hope on both sides of the Atlantic? It can be ours, if we listen for the tune without words; too many hasty, unreflective words have been spoken of late, threatening unity rather than building it up. Let us pray for unity as we listen to the Spirit within.
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.
From “Poems by Emily Dickinson, Series Two”.