Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Sabbath Poem

Because I read a lot on the Sabbath, I am largely drawn to places in literature and poetry where the Sabbath pops up. It shows up, for example, in a few Paul Celan poems. It is rumored that toward the end of his life, he kept a copy of Abraham Joshua Heschel's amazing meditation on the Sabbath on his nightstand. I just ran across a Dickinson poem that also speaks of the Sabbath, differentiating between the Sabbath of church and the Sabbath of creation/nature (or perhaps Nature):

Some keep the Sabbath going to church;
I keep it staying at home,
With a bobolink for a chorister,
And an orchard for a dome.

Some keep the Sabbath in surplice;
I just wear my wings,
And instead of tolling the bell for church,
Our little sexton sings.

God preaches,-a noted clergyman,-
And the sermon is never long;
So instead of getting to heaven at last,
I'm going all along!

She presents this nature's Sabbath as a more direct link to God (God is, indeed, the clergyman!) than to any organized religious service.

I personally do some things differently for the Sabbath--for example, I never do research on the Sabbath. I do think it is important to have one day set aside, although I don't think it matters what day you choose.

How do you, my dearest readers, keep the Sabbath?

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