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Analysis and comments on Some keep the Sabbath going to Church by Emily Dickinson

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Comment 10 of 160, added on May 24th, 2007 at 1:17 AM.

Has justice been done to the poem’s ending, "I'm going, all along"?

Emily seems to imply that she is already partaking, heartily and
comprehensively, in an ongoing heaven. Her tone is jubilant: it's not her
lot to tarry, yearning for some afterlife.

Ian G from Australia
Comment 9 of 160, added on March 21st, 2006 at 4:15 PM.

kate, i'm afraid "at least" is a typo. i looked in my book, and in several
other sources, and it is in fact "at last", and as someone else said
before, it absolutely changes the connotation of the poem . However your
analysis is what matters, and i think it is very helpful for those who are
interested on the poem and not on criticism towards other people.

Chantal from Chile
Comment 8 of 160, added on February 24th, 2006 at 7:12 PM.

I agree with Steph. "At least" from the poem really changes the whole poem.
When i first read it, i was surprised to see what i read!

Lena from United States
Comment 7 of 160, added on January 10th, 2006 at 3:50 PM.

“Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church”

12/07/2005 T. P. Corrigan

Emily Dickinson’s poem “Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church” is an
expression of her rather unorthodox view of how a person should live his or
her spiritual life. Most people celebrate the Sabbath by going to church;
however, Emily Dickinson feels that time is better spent at home and
especially with nature, a very prevalent theme in this poem.
She starts her poem making the simple statement that some people keep the
Sabbath by going to church, but she stays at home. She makes comparisons
between church and her home stating that she has birds for a choir and an
orchard for a dome (dome meaning a church building). She states that some
people dress up for church, but she just wears her wings. Wings are
symbolic of what God gives her, and they relate to her expression of the
glory found in nature. She says that instead of ringing bells for church,
her Sexton, which she has mentioned as the bobolink, sings. In her last
paragraph, Emily says that God, who of course is a noted Clergyman,
preaches to her through life, a sermon that is never long. She says that
instead interrupting her life to go to church, she is going home where she
can live her life and get to heaven just as easily.
Emily uses a definite rhyme scheme of A, B, C, B, to D, E, F, E, to G, H,
I, H in her three paragraph poem. She uses a vivid vocabulary in her use
of sound and sight imagery. She also employs other poetry devices, such as
alliteration in the title and the first line of the second and third
paragraph, - “Some keep the Sabbath going to Church,” and “Some keep the
Sabbath in Surplice.”
The Sabbath and church are very important aspects of most people’s lives.
Emily Dickinson expresses how she feels about truly appreciating the
Sabbath, and establishes her own kind of relationship with God. She feels
that one can get to heaven just as easily by staying at home and in nature,
God’s creation.



TPCorrigan from United States
Comment 6 of 160, added on December 11th, 2005 at 5:34 PM.

In my textbook and also every other version I could find of the poem online
it is "at last" in the second to last verse of Some Keep the Sabbath going
to Church. Are you positive it is at least? Those two words completely
change the connotation of the poem.

Steph from United States
Comment 5 of 160, added on December 2nd, 2005 at 1:06 AM.

i think it actually is at last, at least its that way in my textbook

Eddie from United States
Comment 4 of 160, added on November 21st, 2005 at 5:16 PM.

Contrary to what two people have said, the second to last line is not a
typo. It is in fact "at least--"
Look it up!

Kate from United States
Comment 3 of 160, added on November 4th, 2005 at 9:31 AM.

Emily, in this poem, is once again displaying her desire to be unorthodox
and her success in doing so. While many people choose to celebrate the
Sabbath in a church, she sees this as a waste of time and not truly
appreciating the Sabbath at all. The Sabbath began as a Pagan holiday
celebrating the turn of the seasons, regardless of the Christian
connotation it now has. So, in staying true to the original essence of the
Sabbath, Emily enjoys nature and experiences all it has to offer. Contrary
to this, of course, is staying cooped up inside a stuffy building,
listening to someone talk about things you’ll hear a million times over
before you die. Moreover, instead of listening to someone worship God for
her, she will do it directly and have her own relationship, eliminating the
clerical middleman. Emily, finally, concludes that she won’t stop her life
to worship when she could be doing it equally well at home. Even if she
doesn’t get to Heaven, she proclaims, at least she will have had a full
life instead of life that’d been frittered away in a Church.

Nodnarb from United States
Comment 2 of 160, added on January 28th, 2005 at 8:05 PM.

Your have a typo in the penultimate line. It is at last, not at least....

Jan Lee Ande from United States
Comment 1 of 160, added on December 10th, 2004 at 3:27 AM.

Line three of the last or third stanza is incorrect and should read:

So instead of getting to Heaven, at LAST-

Rich from United States

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Information about Some keep the Sabbath going to Church

Poet: Emily Dickinson
Poem: 324. Some keep the Sabbath going to Church
Volume: Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
Year: 1955
Added: Jan 9 2004
Viewed: 2141 times


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