Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Birthday in December ~ Christina Rossetti



Christina Rossetti was born in London on 5 December 1830, sister of well-known Pre-Raphaelite poet and artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Rossetti is best known for her ballads and her mystic religious lyrics. Her poetry is marked by symbolism and intense feeling. Rossetti's best-known work, Goblin Market and Other Poems, was published in 1862. The collection established Rossetti as a significant voice in Victorian poetry. However, it was not until 1979 that a complete edition of her work appeared.


Rossetti favoured classical forms of poetry, among them English ballads and Italian sonnets.

Remember

Remember me when I am gone away,
   Gone far away into the silent land;
   When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
   You tell me of our future that you planned:
   Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
   And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
   For if the darkness and corruption leave
   A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
   Than that you should remember and be sad.




The Goblin Market, a lengthy narrative and cautionary tale, was her 'break-through' piece, establishing her renown as a poet. It has presented scholars with many hours of interesting interpretation. Rossetti was a contemporary of many Victorian poets, such as Charles Swinburne, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Alfred, Lord Tennyson, all of whom praised her work. Swinburne dedicated his collection, A Century of Roundels to her, as she adopted his roundel form and wrote several poems in this manner, with several innovations of her own. Wife to Husband is cited as one such example.

Our challenge: Write a poem inspired by the words or work of Christina Rossetti. You may choose a form such as sonnet, roundel or ballad, or go for a longer narrative, either rhymed or unrhymed, as is your preference. As always, I encourage participants to write a new poem for the challenge, but if you have an older piece that conforms to the requirements, which you would like to share here, please feel free to do so. Unfortunately, my time is very limited this weekend and I will not be able to read any poems linked after Sunday, so I will respond firstly to new poems, and catch up on the other links after December 15.

Roundels Explained on Real Toads
Source of Images



12 comments:

hedgewitch said...

Rossetti is a favorite, Kerry, as is the roundel form. Thanks for the challenge and I will see if anything sprouts.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I worked on this a little earlier today - a rough little roundel, which doubles for Marian's music prompt.

Ella said...

I have to go do errands, but look forward to this challenge~ She is a favorite of mine, as well! I can't wait to attempt her style.

Thank you Kerry!
Happy Weekend Toads~

Munir said...

Me too - - -not remember that hurts.
Hope all is well and hope that you had a happy Thanksgiving.

Robert Bourne said...

I made an attempt .. but being a free wheeler of sorts .. I find formal structure to be a real challenge... but I gave it a try...

Susan said...

Thanks, Kerry. I haven't read any Rossetti for a long while!

Sumana Roy said...


Thanks Kerry for the challenge....

Björn said...

This was quite a challenge.. really I love that.. since I'm so uneducated on English poetry I had to read a lot first. But really a wonderful poet. I linked up a very short piece that I think can be the to something..

Loredana Donovan said...

Lovely, Kerry. I wrote a romantic roundel. I hope it catches the spirit of Rosetti's poetry. I love her tenderness. Thank you for a wondeful challenge. :)

Loredana Donovan said...

Sorry about the typos ... typing on phone ... Rossetti ... wonderful.

Ella said...

I wrote mine about my camera ;D
This was a challenge, but I loved it~
Thank you Kerry!

Hannah said...

That was interesting...I learned some things...

Thank you!

:)