Oct 26, 2011

Robert Graves' "A Boy in Church" and Emily Dickinson's "Some Keep the Sabbath"


But a dumb blast sets the trees swaying
With furious zeal like madmen praying.

I hardly hear the tuneful babble,
    Not knowing nor much caring whether
The text is praise or exhortation
A Boy in Church by Robert Graves : The Poetry Foundation


Some keep the Sabbath going to Church – (236) by Emily Dickinson : The Poetry Foundation





Robert Graves' "A Boy in Church" and Emily Dickinson's "Some Keep the Sabbath" are both a bit on the obvious side, but they nicely raise the question of where one finds church.

Also, a lot of churches, at least as physical structures, present their own beauty, which might inspire as well as nature does.

But such a lot of what goes on inside the buildings is troublesome that the contradictions have been fodder for writers for centuries. One might wonder why, with all those religions out there, more of them can't do better, more consistently--or at least "do no harm."

Maybe if we could just enter, alone, hear our own choice of music, rest and be silent for awhile, and leave . . . .  I suppose the Quakers were on the right track, but even they have to listen to each other as they try to arrive at one painstaking consensus after another.

Now I'm being as obvious as Graves and Dickinson are. We can have our cake and eat it too: church buildings, music, and nature, the whole enchilada (double cheese). So off I go, to The Church of the Holy Enchilada.
A Boy in Church by Robert Graves : The Poetry Foundation

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church – (236) by Emily Dickinson : The Poetry Foundation

The July 25, 2010 Banjo52 touches on similar subject matter, Yeats' "Lake Isle of Innisfree":   
http://http://banjo52.blogspot.com/search?q=lake+isle+of+innisfree

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4 comments:

RuneE said...

I consider myself non-religious, or at least an agnostic. Maybe I should quote you:

"One might wonder why, with all those religions out there, more of them can't do better, more consistently--or at least "do no harm."

Brenda's Arizona said...

I worked in a church's front office for a couple years. The stories from it, from the pastors to the demanding 'patrons' - would make a perfect sitcom on TV. "Bats in the Belfry" I would call it. Every piece of political incorrectness happened...
I agree with Emily.

Banjo52 said...

RuneE, thanks. I think a multitude would agree with you, though we hear less (screaming) from them. From news pieces and documentaries, I gather that Scandinavia, if not all of Europe, is considerably more open-minded than the U.S. is.

Brenda, in my 20s and 30s, I kept thinking, "Wait a minute, all that was thoroughly skewered in Elmer Gantry among others. Surely that virus is not still going around . . ." And the virus isn't God, but what some . . . unusual humans do with God, to God. But it seems I'm more unusual than they are . . .

In any case, I refuse to give up to judges and killers some of the best of the gospel music and many of the older buildings.

I'm fine with people being religious, and finding fellowship and some pieces of The Meaning there. But I'm dumbfounded about the way religion leads to judgment, murder and, by ANYone's definition, perversion. Also, I prefer that religion, like sex, be a sort of private, pretty kind of thing, maybe even a lonely kind of thing. Oh well.

Kitty said...

Hi Banjo!
As usual, your post and cited poems stir up a lot of thoughts.
I would prefer to sit outside, though not in the storm. I can see how words clutter thoughts. A solitary moment in a field on a sunny day would be nice.

Hope you are having a good weekend!

Lovers' Lane