Poetry Sunday: Summer Worship with the Godmother of American Poetry

Emily-Dickinson-Museum-Amherst-MA-640x480Image via

The season of stargazing, cloud reading, and waterside daydreaming is upon us. It is a time when traditional worshippers and those whose spirituality is of a less organized variety consider the expanse of natural mysteries. It is easy to imagine that a spinster in 19th-century Amherst, Massachusetts, might leave it to religion to explain majesty, but not our brilliant Emily D. She anticipated neuroscience and made room for dichotomy—holding the holy and the corporeal as one. Who would dream of considering the weight of God but she? Who indeed.

Might you make time for poetry this summer? Is there any way to read Ms. Dickinson’s poem below and say no?


The brain is wider than the sky,
For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
With ease, and you beside.
The brain is deeper than the sea,
For, hold them, blue to blue,
The one the other will absorb,
As sponges, buckets do.
The brain is just the weight of God,
For, lift them, pound for pound,
And they will differ, if they do,
As syllable from sound.

–Emily Dickinson, 1830–1886


For more about dear Emily Dickinson and for incentive to make a wonderful trip, visit the website dedicated to the place where she was born:


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