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Sunday, May 05, 2013

Emily Dickinson: Some Keep the Sabbath Going to Church

Today we celebrate here in Romania the Easter, and weather is great: spring is in full blossom, and it gives you a feeling of fulfillment. I think a poem by Emily Dickinson is appropriate.

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!

You would say that this looks a bit rebellious. And Emily Dickinson considered herself a bit rebellious indeed, in matters of religion (she wrote about this in several letters). Well, I would say that her rebellious ways were more an illusion: small mutinies expressed in her verses, and hidden there, very well balanced by gentleness.

I tried a Romanian rendering. It's lubberly, no doubt about. Please, don't judge me too harshly:

Unii ţin Ziua Domnului mergând la biserică;
Eu o ţin stând la mine in grădină,
Dascăl îmi e un cintezoi,
Iar bolta livezii îmi e cupolă.

Unii ţin Ziua Domnului in odăjdii,
Eu îmi port doar aripile,
Şi în loc sa tragă clopotele,
Cintezoiul - dascălul nostru mititel - doar cântă.

Iar Dumnezeu e cel ce ţine predica - ah, este un preot foarte învăţat -
Şi predica nu este niciodata lungă, asta mai ales,
Aşa că în loc sa merg în rai la sfârşitul sfârşitului,
Merg acolo în toată vremea.

(Emily Dickinson)

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  • I agree with Emily.

    By Blogger Wingspan, at 11:54 AM  

  • I don't understand Romanian, could I share it with a friend?

    By Blogger sara Halley, at 6:28 AM  

  • Of course you can share it. It is my translation of the poem into Romanian. I should warn you that it is a very bad translation, as I am far from a poet :) My intention was to communicate the content of the poem for my Romanian friends: some of them do not know English.

    By Blogger Pierre Radulescu, at 9:36 AM  

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