Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church Apex

Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church Apex.

Emily Dickinson

wrote this poem,

‘Some go on the Sabbath going to Church building –’

when she was disillusioned with the fact that God resides in i’s centre. A rigorous follower of Christian rituals may get the divine blessing but 1 who seeks Him inside the soul demand non crave such blessings. As God communicates directly with that person. Through this poem, Dickinson makes it articulate that if one truly wants to attain conservancy, they can get it by staying at their habitation. Only one condition must be followed. They have to be true at their center. Otherwise, this process will prove futile.

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church – by Emily Dickinson


‘Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –’


Emily Dickinson

describes how the poet prays to God without bending to the compass of religious rituals.

This simple verse form can exist summarized in a single sentence. It is about finding God inside one’s centre or soul without caring much about how others are maintaining the orthodox rituals.

In the commencement stanza, Dickinson’s speaker talks near how she stays at home without keeping the sabbath and going to the Church to pray. She prefers a Bobolink’south song for choral music. While in the second stanza, she refers to the surplice that is worn for Church service. She just wears her informal dress and prays to God.

In the last stanza, the poet ironically compares God to a clergyman whose sermon is not long like the preached ones. Instead of hoping for the last destination that is sky, she focuses more on the path that leads there. On that path, she is all by herself. The only help she gets on her path is directly from God.


In that location are layers of meanings inside the text. At a surface level, it seems that the poem is about the poet’s belief concerning the way to communicate to God. Only, after getting to the core, information technology can be found that it is not a subjective thought of spirituality. Information technology’s a fact that true spirituality never encompasses the customary rituals observed during a religious anniversary. It’s much more that. And in this poem, Dickinson throws light on this concept.

In each stanza, she unleashes what seems to her the idea of spiritualism. Firstly, she deals with the concept of Sabbath and how she sits at home, listening to a bird. Then comes the external vestments that are worn during a devotional session. She does not call up that it is essential for communicating with God.

The last stanza, the most important section for decoding the overall idea of the poem, deals with how God can be found in simple things too equally one’south soul.


This poem is separated into three sections. Each stanza consists of four rhyming lines. Dickinson uses the ballad stanza grade while writing this poem. For this reason, the rhyme scheme of the text is ABCB. The poet utilizes this form for hinting at the essential truth of spirituality.

The outset two stanzas from a unit every bit there is not any end-marker. A total end is present at the stop of the second stanza. While the last stanza stands alone every bit it speaks of the speaker’s argument concerning her attitude prescribed in the previous stanzas.

While metrically analyzing the text, information technology tin can be found that the most oftentimes used meter is iambic. At that place are a few metrical variations. Whatsoever, readers tin can observe the use of iambic tetrameter, iambic trimeter, and iambic pentameter in the text.

Literary Devices

The poem,

‘Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –’

contains some of import literary devices that aid readers to decode the poet’southward idea. Commencement of all, they can notice the use of irony in the very commencement line. The first two lines form a unit of measurement and explore an ironic bespeak. Through these lines, Dickinson presents a contrast besides.

In this line, “With a Bobolink for a Chorister,” Dickinson refers to the song of Bobolink and that of the choristers too. This line contains metonymy. In the next line, she uses 2 symbols. The “Orchard” is a symbol of flexibility and openness. While the “Dome” is a symbol of convention and rigidity.

The first line of the 2d stanza contains a repetition of the “s” sound. Information technology is a use of alliteration. In the side by side line, Dickinson uses a metaphor past using the term “Wings.” It is a reference to her coincidental clothes that symbolically represents freedom and flexibility. In that location is onomatopoeia in the phrase, “tolling of the Bong”.

In the third stanza, the poet uses sarcasm to bring home her idea of spirituality. Here, she also makes utilise of epigram for describing the idea of God. In the last two lines, she uses a paradox.


Throughout this piece, Dickinson’due south speaker talks in a calm mood. She does not regret her decision. While others are decorated keeping the sabbath and going to church building, she feels rather pacified past staying at dwelling. In the first two stanzas, her tone is directly and emotive. She speaks what’due south on her heed. There is nothing in her belief that is incorrect. Therefore her tone is quite forceful and has clarity.

While in the third stanza, her tone changes a bit. It creates a humorous event in this section. The apply of a satiric tone lessens the complication. But, it too paves the mode for the complex idea nowadays in the terminal two lines. In the end, the tone of this poem becomes straightforward as the speaker presents her thoughts disregarding the religious norms.


Dickinson taps on several themes in

‘Some continue the Sabbath going to Church –’

For case, she presents the theme of convention in the very commencement stanza. Also, in that location are the themes of the orthodoxy of religion, individualism, spirituality, and nature as well. The final two lines of this stanza contain the theme of romanticism. According to the speaker, 1 can find divinity in nature itself. At that place is no demand to seek God elsewhere.

In the 2nd stanza, readers tin discover the theme of materialism and worldliness. To exist specific, here Dickinson taps on the theme of materialism vs spirituality. While in the last stanza, she welcomes the theme of conservancy. Simply the thought does not resemble what is prescribed past orthodox faith. Rather information technology is about the true meaning of salvation. Co-ordinate to the poet, enjoying the journey is much more rewarding than merely focusing on the end.

Detailed Analysis

Stanza One

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –

I keep information technology, staying at Home –

With a Bobolink for a Chorister –

And an Orchard, for a Dome –

The title of Dickinson’south verse form

‘Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –’

is the very offset line of the outset stanza. Readers are enlightened of the fact that virtually of her poems are written without a championship. The editors later included the title while publishing Emily Dickinson’s poems subsequently her decease. They also struggled to find apt titles. Therefore using the first line as the title was preferred to keeping the poems untitled.

Any, the first stanza opens with a statement that topples the belief behind orthodox rituals. According to the poetic persona, she stays at dwelling house in contrast to those who go along the sabbath and get to church. Besides, she listens to a Bobolink’s song rather than keeping her ears busy with routined religious songs. For her, the orchard nearby is the best place to detect God. He is non present inside the huge domes of Churches.

Allow’s have a shut look at each line of this stanza for understanding the overall idea of the poet.

Line 1

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –

In the first line, the speaker casually refers to the Christians who devotedly obey the orders written in the Holy Bible. They proceed Sabbath and go to church to pray to the almighty. Their attitude towards religion is somehow influenced past the fearfulness of God. They do what others tell them to do without enquiring much into the reason to follow them. Therefore they are spiritually blind.

Dickinson uses capital letters at the kickoff of two words namely “Sabbath” and “Church”. What’s the reason for doing so?

Firstly, the sabbath is a day of religious observance and forbearance from work. Most Christians keep sabbath on Sunday. This inactivity is a tribute to the supreme lord. After devoting their whole day to Him, they generally go to church to pray. The poet particularly emphasizes those words to hint at two ideas. One is related to the rituals and another betoken at their source.

The church, a metonym for who controls the church building, lays down the rules for the mass and they have to follow it blindly. At that place is a rigidity in the sense that it is an society to be followed, not for introspection. None tin question against such orders.

Readers can take annotation of the fact there is a repetition of the “s” sound and the words containing this repetition are closely related to each other.

Line two

I go along it, staying at Dwelling house –

To create a contrast, the first-person speaker proclaims she keeps the sabbath. But she stays at abode. It is important to mention hither that as the poem is told from the first-person point-of-view, information technology is an example of a lyric.

For understanding the interpretation of this line, the showtime line has to be read once again. There the speaker talks about others who blindly follow the religion. Only, she is not 1 of them. She is besides a religious person. But information technology does not mean she is liable to get to church.

She tin can keep the sabbath and pray to God by staying in her homely environment. The church is a place for gathering. If one is true at their service to God, they can create a church-similar environment inside their domicile. Spirituality starts from one’south soul. And then in that location is no demand to go elsewhere for existence spiritual.

The decrease of syllable count in this line increases the pace of the poem. As well, the sudden clipping of this line, makes ane focus on this line. The idea, present here needs no special mentioning. As it reveals Dickinson’s stiff individualism.

She capitalizes the discussion “Home” for the sake of emphasis. A home is a place where i’due south thoughts tin freely evolve. There is no other forcefulness that comes into action except that of the owner. Therefore, information technology becomes a symbol of freedom.

Line 3

With a Bobolink for a Chorister –

In the tertiary line, there is another epigrammatic idea. Readers can discover the utilise of auditory imagery here. Dickinson refers to a Bobolink starting time. Why is this bird special?

Bobolink is a small-scale blackbird that is known for its unique call. So the name of the bird onomatopoetic. Besides, it is also known as the “Rice Bird,” found mainly near paddy fields during harvest season. Dickinson likes the telephone call of the bird more than the devotional song sung by a chorister (a fellow member of a choir).

The speaker likes Bobolink’s vocal every bit it sings without whatever intention. While a chorister sings with a purpose. For this reason, the bird’s song seems purer than the chorister’s vocal.

In this line, readers can find two symbols. The bird represents nature. It explores the idea of finding God in nature. While the “Chorister” is a symbol of orthodox organized religion. In this manner, Dickinson creates an antithesis of ideas.

Line 4

And an Orchard, for a Dome –

The terminal line of the starting time stanza explores a similar contrast. Like, in the previous line, Dickinson presents a difference betwixt romanticism and orthodoxy, here she taps on a similar concept.

According to the speaker, an orchard is the all-time place to contemplate God and his creation. Whereas the “Dome” signifies rigidity. Besides, it hints at the establishment of faith. There is a lack of flexibility and it hinders one’south free-flowing thoughts. Therefore the church does not seem a fine identify for being pious. The speaker thinks the openness of nature expands her eye. She can recall peacefully when she is shut to nature. The aforementioned does not use to when she goes to the church building.

Stanza Two

Some go on the Sabbath in Surplice –

I, merely vesture my Wings –

And instead of tolling the Bong, for Church building,

Our little Sexton – sings.

In the second stanza of

‘Some continue the Sabbath going to Church –’

the speaker firmly proclaims her individualism. According to her, it is mandatory to wear a surplice while attending church services. While she wears her informal clothes and prays to God. She likes the song of a little bird, referred to every bit “little Sexton,” more than than the tolling of the church bong.

Let’south analyze each line of this stanza for a improve understanding of the ideas present here.

Line 1

Some go on the Sabbath in Surplice –

The beginning line of this section resembles the showtime line of the previous stanza. Formerly, the speaker talks near going to church building. While in this section, she talks nigh another custom. It is about wearing the surplice. The surplice is a loose white linen vestment varying from hip-length to calf-length. It is worn over a cassock by clergymen and choristers at church services.

Wearing a surplice is mandatory for attending the church building services. If readers await at the word “some” at the showtime of the first line, they can sympathize that it is worn past a few, non all of them. As others are growing witting nearly the fact that for existence spiritual it is not mandatory to obey every rule prescribed in scriptures. If a Christian is truthful at their service, they tin accomplish salvation in their breezy vestments.

In this line, there is a repetition of the “s” sound. And the repetition occurs in the words that are of import for decoding the meaning of the lines. Those words are capitalized too for the sake of emphasizing the signal.

Line 2

I, just wear my Wings –

In this line, the speaker says she wears her “Wings”. What does it mean? From the meaning of the first line, it becomes clear that it is a reference to her informal wearing apparel that she wears in her home. In that location is a comma just after the word “I”. The brusk pause helps one to stress on that pronoun. It sounds like a proclamation. That she prefers to stay in her casual clothes during prayer. She doesn’t feel like wearing a surplice for being pure. The purity engenders from one’s thoughts and in a higher place all from the soul.

The word “Wings” is a metaphor. Similar the wings of a bird helps it to soar college in the sky. It keeps the body warm during winter and helps information technology to protect its inner parts. Likewise, the personal thoughts of the poet protect her soul. Those ideas help her to stay apart from the crowd and reach heaven. So the “Wings” is a symbol of freedom of thoughts and individualism as well.

Lines 3–four

And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church,

Our trivial Sexton – sings.

In these two lines, Dickinson uses enjambment for hinting at a contrast of ideas. Information technology is not that but here the device is present. The poet uses information technology throughout this piece.

In the 3rd line, the speaker says she doesn’t price the bell for the church. While in the post-obit line, she metaphorically refers to the Bobolink and says its song is more than sonorous than the tolling of the church bell. Before going deeper into the meaning of these lines, it is better to know the meaning of the give-and-take “Sexton”. A sexton is a person who looks afterward a church and acts as a bell-ringer. Hither, the bird is compared to a sexton.

Equally mentioned before, Dickinson creates such an environment in her home that it feels similar she is in a church building. This church is quite personal and nobody is allowed here except her. In an bodily church, there is a sexton to ring the bell to mark the time of prayer or other things. But in the speaker’south church building, there is no such sexton. Hither, the bird sings in such a manner that information technology feels like it is tolling the bong. Information technology helps the poet to keep on her devotional track.

Readers are wondering how Dickinson fuses the orthodox images associated with the church with nature.

Stanza Three

God preaches, a noted Clergyman –

And the sermon is never long,

So instead of getting to Heaven, at concluding –

I’grand going, all along.

The third stanza of

‘Some proceed the Sabbath going to Church building –’

is ironic enough. Dickinson’s speaker assembly the idea of God with a clergyman. He is non a common 1 rather he is noted of all the clergymen.

According to her, the actual sermon delivered by God is never long in comparison to those that are preached in churches. Likewise, she wants to be on the path of spirituality all forth rather than thinking of getting to heaven at last. In this fashion, the poet highlights the importance of the path, non the stop. The discussion is further expanded below.

Line 1

God preaches, a noted Clergyman –

In the lines quoted above, Dickinson uses sarcasm to present her point. According to her, “God preaches.” It means she follows what is dictated by the supreme creator. What is preached in churches by the clergymen holds little value to her. Likewise, she thinks God is “a noted Clergyman.”

Readers have to wait here before advancing to the adjacent line. They can run across throughout the poem, Dickinson uses majuscule letters in front of the important words. Too, she uses the term “Chaplain” as a proper noun. Every bit 1 has to write the showtime letter of the alphabet of “God” in capital letters, the same goes for the word “Clergyman”. Only why is information technology done? The reason is the poet uses a metaphor here and compares God to a clergyman.

Line 2

And the sermon is never long,

Whatsoever, the poet is of the view that God is the real clergyman who preaches just for redeeming mankind and making their mind peaceful. In identify of that, the worldly clergymen e’er think of their benefits. In this way, Dickson highlights the corruption in churches.

On top of that, the sermons preached by those worldly saints are always lengthy and cumbersome, thus deadening. It never attracts the speaker. Whereas the sermon of God is brusk, apt, and interesting. Like a poet, He incorporates complication in simple expression. For this attitude of God, the speaker prefers to learn directly from him instead of resorting to preachers.

It is important to mention here that the poet uses epigram in this line for presenting her idea.

Line 3

So instead of getting to Sky, at last –

In the terminal two lines of this stanza, Dickinson uses irony to present her betoken. The speaker of this work cuts off all connections with orthodox organized religion. Therefore she does not think similar others. Others crave getting to sky. Merely she does not think like that.

They simply think of the afterlife and live in the future. Whereas the speaker focuses more on herself without thinking much about what she will make it render. Then others attempt to be spiritual for the want of heavenly bliss hidden inside their hidden mind. It appears they are true at their service to God. Just, in reality, they are non.

If readers closely look at the third line, they can sympathize that the comma has something to practise with the meaning of this line. It makes one halt for a moment before uttering the phrase, “at last.” Why does the poet especially emphasize this phrase? She does so by highlighting the fact that others merely recall of the reward that may be waiting for them at the end.

Line 4

I’m going, all forth.

Once more there is another comma in the last line, “I’1000 going, all along.” It divides the sentence into two parts. The first part refers to continuity. Whereas the latter associates the thought of unending time. Information technology seems the speaker is trying to say that she is more devoted to her service to God. And, she wants to be engrossed in this simply rather than desiring for anything in return.

In this line, there is a repetition of the “ing” sound in the words, “going” and “along”. This alliteration creates an internal rhyming between the important words. In the line, “I’chiliad going” the speaker refers to a process. While in the next part, she unfolds how she progresses on that path. It seems she has God assisting her all the time. Therefore she can easily continue her journeying in a constant direction that volition somewhen lead her to heaven.

Historical Context

For understanding why Dickinson wrote the poem,

‘Some keep the Sabbath going to Church building –’

the historical background has to exist referred to. In 1845, a protestant religious revival took place in Amherst. Information technology resulted in 46 confessions of faith amidst the peers of Dickinson. According to her, she felt perfect peace and happiness during that spiritual revival. It appeared to her as if she had institute her Savior. After she remarked information technology was her “greatest pleasance to commune lone with the great God & to feel that he would listen to my prayers.”

Still, the experience did non final. She attended church building services for a few years only. When her church-going finally ended around 1852, she composed the verses of

‘Some keep the Sabbath going to Church building –’

Through this poem, she made an implicit declaration of her religion. Besides, Dickinson’s speaker as well makes it clear that God can be found in the homely environment. There is no need to seek him in thrift.

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‘Some go along the Sabbath going to Church –’

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Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church Apex