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Christina Rossetti was born on the 5th December 1830 and died in 1894.
She was an English poet and a devout High Anglican, from an Anglo -
Italian background. She also was the sister of Dante Gabriel Rossetti,
who was a famous artist.
Christina Rossetti could be described as one of the 19th Century's
'great odd women.' Even though she did have a variety of poems, no one
has said she was a 'great' poet; however, the reason why we are so
interested in her is because she was writing poetry in Victorian
England and middle - class women were not seen to have any power. The
fact that she had even been writing poetry was very unusual, as most
females had little rights at this time.
Most of her poetry expresses unfulfilled spiritual yearning,
frustrated love and the sadness that is spread through her poems may
be due to unhappy love affairs in her youth, or to the ill health she
constantly suffered. Some examples of this are, 'When I am deadâ€¦' and
'After death.' These poems are obviously about death and her poems are
sometimes optimistic and depressing. But simply by writing poetry at
this time, she was making a statement about how a lot of women felt
during this period.
One of the things I admire in the poetry of Christina Rossetti is that
she was very honest in what she wrote. She was not afraid to express
personal thoughts; for example in 'A Birthday' she says, 'My heart is
like a singing bird.' This is very dramatic as she normally writes
about darker feelings. Christina Rossetti is also not afraid of dying
as she has strong religious beliefs that echo through each poem. For
example in 'Song', she expresses that in some way she is looking
forward to death and she feels that when she dies she will be a peace.
When she wrote her poems, most of them were very depressing but she
did, from time, to time write about happiness; for example the poem,
which I mentioned previously, 'A Birthday.' This poem is about
happiness and feelings of love that inspire her. In it, she is very
happy and she cannot describe how she feels enough.
Another thing that I admire is that she had the ability to write in
different poetic styles; ballads, sonnets and songs, among others.
Ballads are a simple song and are very sentimental often with several
verses, with the same beat and rhythm. 'Maude Clare' is an example of
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groom out of the church and how she looks back on the relationship she
once had with the groom. A sonnet is a poem of love and an example of
this could be 'Remember.' This poem is about when she dies and she
writes to a man that is close in a relationship with her, ' you tell
me of our future that you planned.' A song is a short poem and
Christina Rossetti actually wrote a poem called ' Song.' This is about
how when she dies, she does not want anyone to grieve. During the
whole poem she kept a beat and a rhyme to it as well as using
Christina Rossetti wrote a lot of imagery in the language she used as
she gave natural images. Some examples of this are 'A Birthday', where
she refers to doves and peacocks, which is a symbol of love. Christina
was a skilful poet and made use of irregular rhyme and line length.
She loved nature. This is very prominent throughout her poems. She
also writes with a lot of description, using metaphors and similes;
'My heart is like an apple - tree.' Taken again from 'A birthday',
this helps to show her happiness through nature.
In conclusion, I enjoyed reading Christina Rossetti's poetry as I
could admire her writing; she showed honesty, true feelings, different
styles of writing, imagery, her use of language; but probably the most
admirable concept of her writing was that she was a female writing in
Victorian England and naturally by writing poetry at this time, when
women had little or no rights, she was making a statement.