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The Soul has Bandaged moments is the third episode of the third season of Apple TV+'s Dickinson. It is the twenty-third episode of the series overall, and aired on the same day as Hope is the thing with feathers and It feels a shame to be Alive in a three episode premiere respectively.


Determined to heal the nation, Emily and Lavinia host a sewing circle to support the troops with help from Amherst’s finest seamstress, Betty.[1]


Most of the people around her seem to believe that Emily’s efforts are best put elsewhere. “I need more than your poems,” Sue tells her. Between an absent husband and an overbearing, nitpicking mother-in-law, Sue is having a difficult time with her new baby. Even though Emily is warming up to her new nephew, she turns down Sue’s invitation to spend the evening together in favor of attending Lavinia’s sewing event. “You always choose your family over me,” Sue tells Emily, feeling cast aside.

Umbeknownst to Sue, Emily only agreed to attend Lavinia’s bandage-making night against her own wishes (she would rather be writing poetry) because she was convinced into “doing something” to help the war effort. Granted, the event springs more out of Lavinia’s own feeling of impending spinsterdom than altruism, and it’s not exactly certain whether their efforts will actually have any impact.

Later, Austin comes home, drunk and bleeding from a bar fight, and despite Betty’s cries, the bandages go to the man who isn’t bravely fighting for anything but his right to go out and avoid his responsibilities.

Worse, Austin is too self-righteous to think of forgiving his father, and he’s too caught up in his own doomed extra-marital romance to want to. When Emily tells him she has good news, his mind immediately goes to Jane, hoping that her boat has somehow turned around.

The good news, as it turns out, is that Edward harbors no ill-will towards his son. In fact he’s made a full recovery and is now devoting his time to creating a legacy: “I may be dead within the month but people will never forget the name of Edward Dickinson”).

Her efforts at healing the family are going about as well as her bandage sewing. “All day I’ve been trying, but nothing I do seems to make anything better,” she says, frustrated by the lack of efforts — but the wounds she wants to heal are emotional, and the manner she would prefer to do so is via her poetry.

But most agree that poetry has little impact. Toshiaki brings up Walt Whitman, the country’s most well-known poet, now a nurse. “He realizes that his words don’t matter right now.” But others disagree, most notably Betty, who talks of her relationship with Henry. At first, she blamed him for prioritizing the newspaper over their family’s safety. But since he’s been gone, “writing stitched us back together again…it became a source of hope.” And she anxiously awaits his next letter.

Emily takes this to heart, believing that the best thing she can do for the world is to lock herself away and write poetry. But writing in isolation is useless, as Betty retorts: “If you can’t handle the mess of the world, then why would anyone want to hear what your poems have to say. Writing that shuts real life out is as good as dead.”

Later, Emily ponders this, thinking about her connection to events going on, and if her writing will ever mean anything. Eventually, George comes into her room. He shares an article by Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a union colonel writing poetry from the front lines. George affirms his belief in the power of Emily’s writing but goes too far, and she rejects his kiss. Later, still mulling over Betty’s words, she pens a letter to Higginson — a letter that will have lasting impacts on her poetry.





  • Erin Gerasimovich as Anna
  • Neville Lee as Clara
  • Justine Rappaport as Puppeteer
  • Dewight Braxton Jr. as Soldier





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  • The episode's title and themes are based on "The Sould has Bandaged moments" which is poem #360 by Emily Dickinson.[2]
  • Taking Fraser’s advice from the previous episode, Emily starts the episode with a descent into hell by picking Dante's Inferno off the bookshelf.
  • Betty has been hosting famed abolitionist Sojourner Truth (played by Ziwe), who’s in her sixties, but nobody really knows her true age, apparently.
  • Moreover, this episode was written by Sophie Zucker, who plays Abby Wood, and gives herself a short speech about women’s suffrage ending with a request for everyone to not mention this to her husband.

See also[]