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Book Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


I Told My Soul to Sing
Finding God with Emily Dickinson
Kristin LeMay
Paraclete Press 11/12 Paperback $17.99
ISBN: 9781612611631

Kristin LeMay studied at Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She teaches writing at Ohio University and can be visited at her website In this creative and soul-stretching paperback, LeMay explores Emily Dickinson's spirituality as revealed through her life and poetry. She sees Dickenson as swinging between faith and doubt in her quest to discover God. Many of those who identify themselves as spiritual but not religious might adopt this American poet as their patron saint after reading this fascinating book.

In chapters on belief, prayer, mortality, immortality, and beauty, LeMay digs deep into the reclusive poet's verse and comes up with a treasure trove of gems on the thorny topics of Scripture, prayer, learning to die, resurrection, ecstasy, and revelation. In the end, LeMay marvels at the significance of beauty in Dickinson's life and poetry. She closes on a personal note:

"The birds are beginning. What to do now? I'll tell my soul to sing. How else can I repay the gift of beauty that Emily's poems have been to me? They've bolstered me, as the punctual music of the bird cheers us when we wait for dawn; they've stilled me, as the robin's did that day by its singular genius; they've lifted me, through their intelligence and grace, toward God."


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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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