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

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Comment 14 of 354, added on September 22nd, 2009 at 1:57 AM.

Dr. Wasserman,

The date 1955 actually refers to the date when Thomas Johnson published
"The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson." This is the publication from which
this website is ordering the poems. Of course, since then many scholars
have disagreed with some of Johnson's transcriptions and/or ordering of
poems.

Dave from United States
Comment 13 of 354, added on September 21st, 2009 at 7:26 AM.

Is no one made uneasy in the least by the claim below the poem here that it
was "Published/Written" in 1955?
Dickinson DIED in 1886. The site's been viewed 27 thousand times: I know
from my decades of teahing that not everyone notices there's a link to her
bio at the side.

Dr. Rosanne Wasserman from United States
Comment 12 of 354, added on April 4th, 2009 at 9:26 PM.

Actually, the original version did say "at last." But of course I know of
at least two editor's books that "typo'd" the next to the last line and
never caught it when they printed those editions. So indeed, the words "at
last" were Emily Dickinson's words.

Alan from United States
Comment 11 of 354, added on March 1st, 2009 at 8:40 PM.

I think the original version of the poem said "So instead of getting to
Heaven at least--" If you have a version that says "at last" instead, it
might be because of the revisions that Dickinson's family made when her
poems were originally published.

Chelsea
Comment 10 of 354, 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 354, 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 354, 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 354, 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 354, 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 354, 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

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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: 3580 times


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