Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church

931 Words4 Pages
Megan McCullough
Briejer
English 101
15 April 2013
Emily Dickinson “Some Keep the Sabbath Going To Church” In the poem “Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church,” Emily Dickinson expresses the feeling that everybody practices their faith and religion in a different way. The narrator of this poem portrays the idea of self practice. Being able to completely understand and interpret the meaning of this piece of poetry was not a short and simple process. When first reading “Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church” I was a little confused and unaware of what was happening in the reading. However, in the end I came to realize the poem had a much bigger meaning than just a person sitting in their backyard with the birds. To begin, my first
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The narrator believes you do not have to attend church to be spiritual and that common practice can be done in a peaceful place such as the orchard in her yard. The last two lines of the poem state, “So instead of getting to Heaven, at last- / I’m going, all along” (Dickinson 639). I interpreted this as the long journey to heaven has become a huge part of her life. It is not just a look into the future, but a continuous look in the present. The symbols Dickinson uses in this poem are by far the highlight of this short piece of poetry. In the first stanza, a bobolink and orchard are used to replace things that modern churches value as sacred and holy. Those natural occurrences are used by Dickinson to show her love for nature. More examples of this are shown in the second stanza. The narrator uses her own “sexton” to call her holly time instead of a brass bell to call church service. This is important to analyze as yet another natural occurrence that highly defines the authors writing style. All in all, Emily Dickinson’s poem “Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church” was a bit confusing the first few times it was read. It took many times interpreting it and going through line by line to fully understand it. After researching the time period, finding definitions for unknown words, and reading and rereading the poem many times I came up with a solid understanding of this piece of

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