A Service of Song

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My favorite Emily Dickinson poem was VI. A Service of Song

 

"Some keep the Sabbath going to church;

 I keep it staying at home,

 With a bobolink for a chorister,

 And an orchard for a dome.

 

 Some keep the Sabbath in surplice;

 I just wear my wings,

 And instead of tolling the bell for church,

 Our little sexton sings.

 

 God preaches, -- a noted clergyman, --

 And the sermon is never long;

 So instead of getting to heaven at last,

 I'm going all along!"

 

I picked this poem because I can relate to it in different ways. First I can see it in nature as birds that you see gathered in a field and second I can see it as a person that would rather be outside in the world God created than in a church that man built.

I see Dickinson relating heaven as not some place that you go but where you are. In this section on nature she really relates to the bees, butterflies and even a squirrel. Not all of the poems made perfect sense to me if I had more time to read them a few more times maybe it would clear up a few of them but for the most part I really enjoyed reading all of them.

 

5 Comments

I agree with you. Dickinson seems to be saying that heaven is here on earth, through what God has created, not man. She doesn't need to go to church to "keep the Sabbath," she keeps it all along through nature.

I also liked this poem. But I also find it kind of funny as Emily Dickinson was a shut-in. So in another view, this poem is like an excuse for not leaving the house to go to church.

I agree with your view. I often feel like the car rides to and from church on those sunny Sunday's were the best part about the whole trip to church.

I agree with your view. I often feel like the car rides to and from church on those sunny Sunday's were the best part about the whole trip to church.

Emily Dickinson, as others that see the world differently than most, retreat the sanctity of their houses or other places that are 'safe' and 'less worldly'.


A lot of other people, these days, also claim that they do not need to go to church to keep the sabbath....

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This page contains a single entry by MaryJaneStano published on September 18, 2010 1:15 PM.

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