Essay, Research Paper
Christina Rossetti is for me, a passionate and powerful poet; the majority of her poetry has contained the themes of either love or death, and in many cases both. Even within her children´s poetry, these themes are prominent. However, I feel it untruthful to call Christina Rossetti a sentimentalist poet, in my opinion she does not write nauseating sentimental ‘love´ poems. We shall see how Rossetti projects images of love which are more often then not either non-requited or, cut short, however, she also writes deeply and movingly of divine love. The other major theme within the poetry of Christina Rossetti is ‘death´ this theme is quite often in association with divine love. Again, she deals with this in a startlingly refreshing and compassionate way, often with the sense of melancholy but never with depression. Christina Rossetti did not just write for adult amusement, but also wrote poetry for children, and again the themes of Love and Death are featured frequently within these works. Rossetti manages to deal with both emotions in a matter-of-fact style, which a child would appreciate whilst remaining compassionate. It will be necessary to briefly consider some of Christina Rossetti´s personal affairs to see how these have influenced her poetry. For example her love affairs; her dedication to the church; and her family, I will pay particular attention to her very prominent association with the Tractaraian or Oxford Movement and her involvement with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Echoes of which are recognisable in her poetry. As with many poets, critics have considered that much of Christina Rossetti´s work is autobiographical, but likewise this theory has also been discounted, it is not absolutely necessary to form an opinion regarding this, it is the writing style and content that to me are important. How a person can so successfully combine both love and death in many of her poems, how Rossetti manages to ‘speak´ on both adult and children´s levels with out loosing any of her passion and directness. How these themes are prominent in many of her poems whilst they all remain so individually unique. The research for this essay has been wide and varied, using several different mediums. My original interested was aroused when I received an anthology of Christina Rossetti´s poetry. Discovering the recurring themes, I search the World Wide Web for further information. This intern, recommended several critical texts about her, many of which I have now read, and will use for the essay. I have also delved into a textbook explaining the language of poetry. Another aspect that I have considered necessary regards her femininity. It must have been very hard to achieve critical acclaim in such a male dominated profession. Her writing is a refection of femininity far more outspoken and sensuous, than would perhaps have been expected of a Victorian spinster. This could well be explained by her continental heritage and her involvement with her brother in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. For further theories on this, I have resorted to the journals within the library researching into the feminist theories, regarding the style, context and content of her writing. In conclusion, I can honestly say that it has been interesting discovering different interpretations of Christina Rossetti´s poems, some, which I can agree with, and others that for me appear to be far too complex. The reason for her writing to contain such similar yet different themes, what influenced her when she wrote, and what or who helped nurture her individual and unique style. But also, to see why she succeeded where many have failed, and why after such a long time she is once again a popular poet.