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Where are the songs I used to know,
Where are the notes I used to sing?
I have forgotten everything
I used to know so long ago...
--Christina Rossetti "The Key-Note"
Christina Georgina Rossetti, poet, born in London, one of four children
parents, Gabriel Rossetti
the exiled Italian patriot, poet, scholar, and
revolutionary and Frances Polidori Rossetti. The poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti was
her brother. Christina's first
poems were written in 1842 and printed in the private press of her
grandfather. In 1850, under the pseudonym Ellen Alleyne, she
contributed seven poems to the Pre-Raphaelite journal The Germ, which
had been founded by her brother William Michael and his friends.
Rossetti is best known for her ballads and her mystic religious lyrics.
Her poetry is marked by symbolism and intense feeling. Christina
religious poetry, her
best-known work, Goblin Market and Other Poems, was published in 1862.
The collection established Rossetti as a significant voice in
Victorian poetry. The Prince's Progress and Other Poems, appeared in
1866 followed by Sing-Song, a collection of verse for children, in
1872 (with illustrations by Arthur Hughes).
By the 1880s, recurrent bouts of Graves' disease, a thyroid disorder,
made Christina an invalid, and ended her attempts to work as a
governess. Although the illness restricted her social life, she
continued to write poems. Among her later works are A Pageant and
Other Poems (1881), and The Face of the Deep (1892). Rossetti also
wrote religious prose works, such as Seek and Find (1879), Called
To Be Saints (1881).
Her work displays the
influence of the Pre-Raphaelite artistic movement, which her brother,
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, helped to found.
Her favorite themes were unhappy love, death, and premature
resignation. Especially her later works deals with somber religious
feelings. She possessed a spontaneous lyrical gift, and had a firm
command of traditional poetic forms. Christina was the model for her
brother's picture "The Girlhood of
Christina Rossetti is increasingly being reconsidered a major
Victorian poet. She has been compared to Emily Dickinson but the
similarity is more in the choice of spiritual topics than in poetic
approach, Rossetti's poetry being one of intense feelings, her
technique refined within the forms established in her time.
In 1891, Rossetti
developed cancer. She died in London on December 29, 1894.
She was a devout Anglican and never married. She was buried in Highgate Cemetery.
Rossetti's brother, William Michael, edited her collected works in
1904, but the Complete Poems were not published before 1979.
Will You be There?
A Wintry Sonnet
Summer is Ended
To view more of Christine Rossetti's poems:
Jim Bender - benderweb.net
Some more of his poems includes:
"No, Thank You, John.",
The Convent Threshold,
The Poor Ghost,
The Ghost's Petition,
A Handy Mole,
A Word for the Dumb,
An Echo From Willowwood,
One of the Dead,
Have You Forgotten?
From the Antique,
In an Artist's Studio,
By Way of Remembrance,
From "Sing-Song: A Nursery Rhyme Book"
(1872 and 1893)
A City Plum,
What are Heavy?,
How Many Seconds?,
What is Pink?,
Frog and Toad,
What Does the Donkey?,
Fish and Lizards,
I Planted a Hand,
If a Mouse,
O Lady Moon,
A White Hen,
Who Has Seen the Wind?,
Diamond or Coal,
Is The Moon Tired?
[Poet's Corner Index]
Reference, Research and Source Information
The History Channel
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