Although the term ‘echo’ is not mentioned in the main body of the poem, the notion of an echoing voice is made apparent through various repetitions.
-‘Oh dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter sweet.’
-‘Where thirsting longing eyes/ Watch the slow door.’
-‘Pulse for pulse, breath for breath;’
-‘As long ago, my love, how long ago.’
-Oxymorons eg. night and bright, ‘Speaking Silence…’
-Repetition creating an echoing effect…
-Sibilence eg. ‘speaking silence of a dream’
-Assonance (where the vowel sound is repeated)
in this case it’s visual ad aural assonance eg. dream, stream, tears, years
Variations in Metre
The beginning is a trochee (stressed followed by an unstressed = falling metre)
-*Eyes*…’eyes as bright as sunlight on a stream’… youthful and pastoral imagery… conveys the idea of a physical/visual echoe in terms of reflection
-‘thirsting longing eyes’ … personification of eyes makes the pain of separation seem even more unendurable and alludes to emotional deprivation
-The door… could be seen as the entrance to paradise/ heaven + hints at the potential reunion of the lovers
‘souls brimfull of love’
-In a letter to her brother, Dante Gabriel, Rossetti voiced her excitement at hearing it put to music.
-The depiction of heaven in ‘Echoe’ contrasts to the depiction in *Revelation 7-17* where heaven is depicted as being full of security, rest and peace.
-The word Brimful is often used in the Bible, it can be referenced to the words Jesus spoke to a Samaritan woman as she drew water from a well, declaring that he himself is the Water of Life and that if she drank his water she would never go thirsty again, whereas everyone who drinks regular water will inevitably be thirsty again —> could signify Christina’s acknowledgement of the fickleness of mortal love and perhaps suggests that love for God/Jesus will being ultimate happiness.
-The motif of reflection and echoing can be linked to the Greek myth of Echo and Narcissus, lovers who were tragically torn apart.
-Love and longing
-Religion in terms of paradise ( less positive description) and possible reunion
-Only remember me; you understand
-‘Better by far you should forget and smile/
Then that you should remember and be sad.’
-some gothic elements … eg. the darkness and corruption … also in the sense that it explores purgatory more than heaven
ABBA ABBA for the first 2 quatrains
sestet is ABBCAC
Volta is at line 9… ‘Yet if you should…’
-sonnet could be seen as apt, because it is about love, it also presents a depressing outlook on what happens to love when death comes in between.
-reluctance and melancholy
-death and the after life
-‘Wore kinglier girdle and a kingly crown.’
-‘His punier brethren quaked before his tail.’
-‘he knew no law, he feared no binding law.’
-‘The luscious fat distilled upon his chin.’
-‘white it was as an avenging ghost.’
-‘And shed appropriate tears and wrung his hands.’
-the narrative style… quite modern
-grotesque and detailed imagery…’The luscious fat distilled upon his chin
-The fact that the crocodiles tears are ‘appropriate’ rather than genuine can be referenced to the phrase ‘crocodiles tears’ which suggests fake and insincere emotion.
The only comfort she can find now is by looking at it through the ‘iron bars’ that separate her and reflecting on the happiness she once had.
-‘From flower to flower the moths and bees.’
-‘A shadowless spirit kept the gate.’
-‘But one small twig from shrub or tree.’
-‘And dear they are, but not so dear.’
-in the second stanza *vivacity is created through assonance in he short O sounds eg. bough to bough
-the depiction of the inhuman ‘shadowless spirit’ who is ‘blank’ and ‘silent’. —> highlights speaker’s feelings of alienation.
-Caesura, commas and colons used creatively to portray feelings of loss + detachment.
Rhyme scheme + imagery
The rhymes are strong and masculine and are unlike the ballad -abab rhyme which is typically used in poems that tell a story. It grounds the speaker, it has a static quality perhaps suggesting the unchangeable nature of her dilemma.
-There is also eye-rhyme
They rhythm is in *Iambic Tetrameter*
week beat followed by a stressed beat… tetrameter means 4 metrical feet … reflects the monotony of the situation
-‘violate beds’ are also linked with death
-lark = energy, hope and light
-the door can be linked to the door in despised and rejected, God and the speaker now find themselves in opposite positions
-here, heaven and God are depicted as unforgiving, cruel and punishing.
-the ‘shadowless spirit’ could represent the guard that was set on the east side of the garden to protect it.
-not in the devotional section of her poetry—> could also allude to fallen women who indulged in premarital pleasures and as a result were ostracised.
-the garden of Eden is believed to be the original home of the human … this is also alluded to in Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost which is about losing this home due to man’s disobedience.
-ideas of fertility can be linked to the Bible where God said, ‘be fruitful and multiply!’
-Sin + Fallen women
-Paradise.. also described as a ‘garden’ in many of her other poems eg. The Holy City, New Jerusalem
-‘O Jesus quicken me.’
-‘My life is like a faded leaf.’
-‘My life is like a frozen thing.’
-Cast in the fire the perished thing’
-‘A royal cup for Him my King/ O Jesus, drink of me.’
-Seasonal Metaphors … ‘My harvest dwindles to a dusk’
-Hyperbolic Language… use of exclamatia ‘O’ + possessive pronouns
Rhyme scheme + imagery
Can be categorised as a religious lyric
Rhythm: Regular Iambic Tetrameter there are however a few interruptions;
-she adds a syllable in ‘And tedious in the barren dusk’ which changes it into an anapaest (2 unstressed followed by a stressed syll)
-the speaker’s transformation is also highlighted in the reversal from Iambic to a trochee (rising to falling metre)
-switching to iambic trimeters at the end of each verse,
-The trimeters at the end of each verse are known as *refrains*
-heart as a stone can be linked to the Bible… it is only until we are truly reborn that are hearts will become ‘human’.
In the book of Ezekiel in the Old Testament, God declares that he will bring his people out of exile and replace their hard-heartedness with receptiveness and obedience.
-My life is like a faded leaf (l.9) – The image of the ‘faded leaf’ is used by the prophet Isaiah when he contrasts the righteous acts of man to the glory of God:
-‘spring’ + ‘sap’ are symbols of new life…
-A broken bowl is useless !!
-life after death (eternal life)
-‘Their heaped-up basket teased me like a jeer.’
-‘Ah Willie, Willie, was my love less worth.’
-‘To think that by this way we used to walk.’
-‘while the dews// Fell fast I loitered still.’
-Sibilance to portray harmony
-alliteration of the ‘w’ sounds… makes it quite a mouthful to say… I think it highlights the singularity of the event, how it will never happen again.
-Apples as a metaphor
-The names ‘Lilian and Lilias’ are slightly jeering in the way that they connote innocence… (lilies= innocence).
Rhyme is similarly disturbed in the final stanza…
It’s in a ballad form…makes it seem more generalisable…
-Sexual symbols eg. ‘pink blossoms’, ‘hair’
-an economic aspect portrayed through the selectiveness… ‘apples with their green leaves piled above.’, ‘rosiest apples.’
—-> Fallen women!!! and Rossetti’s attempt to restore them
—> the speaker could be seen as giving into temptations like eve, as she ‘plucked pink blossoms’ out of season.
-the day is too cold
-that there is actually nothing to tell
-she does not want to be exposed to the cold
-the auditor will just have to guess
-‘Come bounding and surrounding me, Come buffeting and astounding me.’
-‘You would not peck? I thank you for your good will.’
-‘Nor April with its rainbow crowned brief showers.’
-‘Perhaps some languid summer day.’
-Internal Rhyme… ‘froze’ , ‘blows’, ‘snows’
-use of dactyls (one stressed followed by 2 unstressed) and anapaests create a conversational style
-enjambement… stream of consciousness???
-Winter as a metaphor
-use of caesura and colons
Metre is mostly iambic
-critic Emma Mason has argued that the narrator of the poem can be associated with God himself, declaring to the believer that he may have secrets that are yet to be revealed.
-Others believe its about her relationships with men
-Winter is described as a menacing force… there is a wittiness to Rossetti’s reference of ‘Russian snows’…Russian winters have helped defeat invaders such as Napoleon.
-‘That day we waded ankle-deep/For lilies in the beck.’
-‘For he’s my lord for better and worse/And him I love, Maude Clare.’
-‘He strove to match her scorn with scorn/He faltered in his place.’…’he hid his face.’
-‘My lord was pale with inward strife/ And Nell was pale with pride.’
-Repetition to emphasise drama; “I have brought my gift, my lord,/Have brought my gift,” she said’
-Thomas’s mother’s tears are ambiguous
-Maude Clare does not hide any of her anger or malice… ‘Lo’ does not convey joy or respect.
rhyme scheme + imagery
1. Maude Clare and Nell are first compared.
Written in ballad form
Rhyme Scheme: abab
Rhythm= iambic tetrameter and trimeter
The speaker meanwhile feels alone and forgotten as she contemplates about her past, present and future.
There is an allusion however to her friends risking salvation by sinning in the present.
-“for each was loved of each”
-“Plod plod along the featureless sands”
-“We will achieve the eyrie seat”
-“I, only I had passed away”
-“I was of yesterday”
-“Like the remembrance of a guest”
-alliteration ‘sucked the pulp of plum and peach.’ (portrays aggression)
-use of a dialogue
-Repetition of ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘I’ … perhaps reinforcing the speakers uncertainty + fear about the future.
-commas and colons fro emphasis
-‘plod plod’… (onomatopoeia) reflects a weary, monotone exhaustion.
-Sibilance… ‘shivered, sad.’
-Consonance with the hard s and p sounds. (plosive) mimics the enthusiasm of the friends.
Rhyme and imagery
Rhyme Scheme : ABCBDEFE ( a song like pattern)
Iambic Tetrameter and Trimeter
The rhythm is broken in some places though
eg. The spondee (2 syllables) of ‘Plod plod’
-trochee in ‘I only I’
Rossetti might have also felt this exclusion particularly among her brother Dante Gabriel and his friends who had a reputation of being ——.
-The title ‘At Home’ could be focused on where she is looking to get ie. Heaven
-it’s interesting to note that in Goblin Market, the fruits that Laura consumes causes her to disregard her past, similarly as the friends have done in ‘At Home.’
-Gluttony and indulgence
-Optimism vs hopelessness
-Uncertainty vs certainty
The journey could refer to life itself, the journey of life or the journey after death.
-‘From morn to night, my friend.’
-‘May not the darkness hide it from my face?’
-‘They will not keep you standing at the door.’
-‘Of labour you shall find the sum.’
-‘Yea, beds for all who come.’
-The conversational tone imitates the style of Catechisms in the bible
-repetition and reinforcement and masculine endings of the answering voice … creates a tone of assuredness.
-the lack of speech marks however suggests that this could be an internal dialogue in the speakers mind between discipline and
-the ‘inn’ could be seen as a metaphor for heaven
the rhymes have masculine endings
Up Hill is a ballad.
Meter is largely iambic.
-the door can be linked to Luke 11:9-10 Jesus encourages people to turn to God with their concerns: ‘knock and the door will be opened to you. ‘
-Doubt + uncertainty.
-‘To city and to sea of glass.’
-‘To wash the spot, to burn the snare.’
-‘Of mansions where the righteous sup.’
-‘With Cherubim and Seraphim.’
-‘wine-flushed among the vines.’
-‘Why will you die? why will you die?’
-‘Repent with me, for I repent.’
-‘I turn from you my cheeks and eyes.’
-‘Fire-footed clomb an infinite space.’
-‘Knowledge is strong, but love is sweet.’
-‘My heart was dust that used to leap.’
-‘And frozen blood was on the sill.’
-metaphors of heaven
-symbols of purity eg. ‘My lily feet.’
-Biblical references to Cherubim and Seraphim; angelic beings belonging to the highest order of the celestial hierarchy
-imagery similar to goblin market… ‘blooming as peaches pearled with dew.’
-hyperbolic language ‘oh wary life, Oh weary lent…’
-Contrast between earthly love music and hymns/songs of praise
rhyme + imagery
how this means that when there are words that rhyme there is more meaning…
opens with trochees, meter changes in some areas , perhaps to highlight the change the lover must make in his life.
-Blood… the beginning of the poem, ‘There’s blood between us love’ suggests some sort of family rivalry and hightens the sense of sin.
The frozen blood offers almost a sterile image, of purity.
Rossetti’s first dream consists of a ‘spirit with transfigured face’, this imagery is actually strongly linked to Satan.
* When satan was still known as ‘Lucifer’, his name meant ‘Light-bearer’.
-The idea of Fallen women would have been something Rossetti was all to familiar with…In 1873, Rossetti’s sister Maria joined the nearby convent of ‘The All Saints Sisterhood’ and Rossetti herself became closely involved with this order, which was known foe helping the downtrodden.
-The Day of Judgement
-Rossetti’s use of violent language, ”Kneel, wrestle, knock, do violence, pray’ echoes that used by the poet John Donne in his poem, ‘batter my heart.’
-sin and forgiveness
-‘And if thou wilt remember,
And if thou wilt forget.’
-‘I shall not see…’ , ‘I shall not feel’, ‘I shall not hear.’
-‘And dreaming through the twilight.’
-Ambiguity… such as in terms, ‘Haply’
-pathetic fallacy… nature reflects the speaker’s feelings eg. ‘shadows’, ‘pain’, ‘the nightingale/ Sing on as if in pain.’
-the nightingale in typical romantic poetry = symbol of joy, music, nature and immortality. Here, rossetti subverts the traditional image.
-meter varies between tetrameter and trimeter
-anaphora = makes it seem like a prayer for the dying
2 stanzas, divided into 8 lines each…
both stanzas end with ‘remember’ and ‘forget’.
mourning lover frequently presented by the Pre- Raphaelite Brotherhood…Most notable in Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s poem ‘The Blessed Damozel’ in which a woman mournfully observes her lover from heaven.
-The nightingale was a positive symbol, as seen in Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale, written in 1819.
-Nightingale can also be linked to Romeo and Juliet.
-The twilight depicted is clearly unheavenly… In Revelation 21:23, John describes heaven as a city where God’s light shines so brightly that the sun is not needed
The passage of time.
-‘Sooner,later, at last.’
-symbolism of flowers
– the title itself ‘Summer is ended’ creates an in-between state…
The harvest is past,
the summer has ended,
and we are not saved.
–> Could possibly link it to judgement day.
–> 1881 in her collection ‘A Pageant and Other Poems’. This came out when she was 51. Natural for her to reflect on death.
-Passage of time
-Beauty as ‘Vanity of Vanities’
-Religious devotion and waiting