Dickinson's Relationship with Religion

Dickinson’s relationship with religion

“Dickinson never made a formal declaration of faith” (Ford 37); she was never known to adopt her family’s religious beliefs. Biographers suggest that she did not believe in God, nevertheless God is mentioned throughout much of her poetry. Although she may or may not have been religious, she is very well versed in religious diction showcasing it in poems like “The Bible is an antique Volume-“. Dickinson uses her poetry to explore her thoughts as well as societies thoughts on religion and faith. Despite the opinions of historians and biographers, Dickinson’s poetry suggest she is conflicted in terms of her own spirituality or personal religious beliefs.
In poem 324, “Some keep the Sabbath going to Church-“ (pg.66), Dickinson investigates her desired place to worship. As she states some people enjoy spending their day of worship in a church listening to the Clergyman speak, where as Emily would prefer to spend her time among nature. She is able to feel spiritual by having “a bobolink for a Chorister” “ and an Orchard, for a dome”. Dickinson preferred not to spend a short time praising god to make it to heaven in the end, she favored to live her life as if everyday was heaven and spend her time worshiping among nature. Although she didn’t feel the need to worship in a traditional way some might infer she still felt a connection with God.
Conversely, “No Other can reduce” (pg.228) delves into Dickinson’s thoughts on the present life and the after life. Dickinson suggests that nothing can make life seem more insignificant then realizing that someday it will end and if we place too much value on our present life that means were not thinking enough about the next life. She sums up life as “Our single competition” for “Jehovah’s Estimate”.
“I know that He exists” (pg.71) truly highlights Dickinson’s conflicting thoughts on religion. The poem begins with a statement, “I know that he exists”, it delivers a sense of knowing...