‘From Sunset to Star Rise’ is not one of the best-known poems by Christina Rossetti (1830-94), but it’s a real gem of a poem. Here is the poem, followed by a few words of analysis.
From Sunset to Star Rise
Go from me, summer friends, and tarry not:
I am no summer friend, but wintry cold,
A silly sheep benighted from the fold,
A sluggard with a thorn-choked garden plot.
Take counsel, sever from my lot your lot,
Dwell in your pleasant places, hoard your gold; Read the rest of this entry
A little-known poem about a mother’s love
Christina Rossetti (1830-94) wrote many sonnets, so it should come as little surprise that, like Keats and Wordsworth before her, she wrote what we might call a ‘meta-sonnet’, about the virtues and values of the sonnet. Here, Rossetti focuses on the ‘first Love’ in her life, her mother.
Sonnets are full of love, and this my tome
Has many sonnets: so here now shall be
One sonnet more, a love sonnet, from me
To her whose heart is my heart’s quiet home,
To my first Love, my Mother, on whose knee
I learnt love-lore that is not troublesome;
Whose service is my special dignity,
And she my loadstar while I go and come
And so because you love me, and because
I love you, Mother, I have woven a wreath
Of rhymes wherewith to crown your honoured name: Read the rest of this entry
The meaning of Rossetti’s bittersweet spring poem
‘Spring’ is not one of Christina Rossetti’s best-known poems, but it is a fine poem about springtime. Rossetti (1830-94) celebrates the new life that the spring brings, as all of the ‘hidden life’ beneath the earth ‘springs’ into action, bursting forth upon the scene. Here is ‘Spring’:
Frost-locked all the winter,
Seeds, and roots, and stones of fruits,
What shall make their sap ascend
That they may put forth shoots?
Tips of tender green,
Leaf, or blade, or sheath;
Telling of the hidden life
That breaks forth underneath,
Life nursed in its grave by Death. Read the rest of this entry