Rossetti Poems Key Quotations First Batch ?

Echoe Brief Summary
The speaker (may or may not be alive) calls a lost love one to come back and visit her in his/her dreams so that they can remember the times they once spent together.

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.

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Echoe Key Quotes
-‘Come to me’/ ‘Come in’/ ‘Come with’/
-‘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.’

Echoe Key Devices used
-Anaphora creating an insistent tone
-Oxymorons eg. night and bright, ‘Speaking Silence…’
-Repetition creating an echoing effect…
-Internal Repetition…
-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

Echoe Rhyme Scheme + key imagery
ABABCC… rhyme is used to combine words of opposite meaning eg. night and bright, death and breath
Variations in Metre

The beginning is a trochee (stressed followed by an unstressed = falling metre)

Key imagery:

-*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

-Water/Thirst
‘souls brimfull of love’

A bit about echoe + contextual references
-Echo is a lyric poem… lyric poems make allusion to their ancient roots by using musical techniques such as repetition and a steady beat.

-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.

Echoe Themes
-Memory
-Love and longing
-Religion in terms of paradise ( less positive description) and possible reunion

Remember
Brief Summary
The narrator of the poem begins off asking her lover to remember her and then comes to the realisation that it would be better if her lover forgets her

Remember Key Quotes
-‘Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.’
-Only remember me; you understand
-‘Better by far you should forget and smile/
Then that you should remember and be sad.’

Remember Devices used
-euphemism eg. ‘silent land’
-repetition
-some gothic elements … eg. the darkness and corruption … also in the sense that it explores purgatory more than heaven

Remember Rhyme scheme and imagery
In a Petrarchan sonnet:
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.

Remember contextual stuff
Was written when Rossetti was only 19. Prior to this time, she already had some experience of the fragility of life with her dad’s sickness and suffered a nervous breakdown personally.

Remember Themes
-Expectations vs reality
-reluctance and melancholy
-death and the after life

My Dream
Brief Summary
-Could be about fallen women, the temptation to sin and their efforts to redeem themselves in the eyes of god.

My Dream
Key Quotations
-‘Each crocodile was girt with massive gold.’
-‘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.’

My Dream
Devices used
-water imagery eg. the Euphrates which suggests fertility
-the narrative style… quite modern
-grotesque and detailed imagery…’The luscious fat distilled upon his chin

My Dream
Rhyme Scheme

A bit about ‘My Draem’ + contextual references
-Euphrates river is heavily associated with the bible…the river originated from the garden of Eden.

-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.

My Dream
Themes

Shut out Summary
In ‘Shut Out’ the speaker finds herself shutout from a beautiful garden that once provided him/her with the company of bees, songbirds and moths.

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.

Shut out
Key Quotations
-‘Pied with all flowers bedewed and green’
-‘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.’

Shut Out
Key devices
-use of possessive pronouns … ‘I’, ‘My’…
-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.

Shut out
Rhyme scheme + imagery
Rhyme scheme remains the same + controlled: abba abba.
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

Imagery:
-‘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.

Shut out
Contextual references
-The garden has been referenced to the ‘Garden of Eden’ which is essentially a paradise. Just like the speaker, Adam and Eve were similarly banished from eden due to their disobedience.
-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!’

Shut Out Themes
-Isolation/Rejection
-Belonging
-Sin + Fallen women
-Paradise.. also described as a ‘garden’ in many of her other poems eg. The Holy City, New Jerusalem
-Sight

A Better Resurrection Summary
The speaker who considers her life insubstantial, looks forward to her death, the prospect of eternal life and reuniting with Jesus

A Better Resurrection Key Quotes
-‘No everlasting hills I see.’
-‘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.’

A Better resurrection
Key devices
-Similes
-Seasonal Metaphors … ‘My harvest dwindles to a dusk’
-Hyperbolic Language… use of exclamatia ‘O’ + possessive pronouns

A Better resurrection
Rhyme scheme + imagery
Rhyme Scheme: ABABCDCD
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*

Imagery:

A Better resurrection
Contextual references
-The title, A Better Resurrection, is taken from a chapter in a New Testament letter which reflects on the faith and willing suffering of believers in the Old Testament, Hebrews 11:35: … we can interpret this as the speaker wanting/willing to suffer as much as possible if it means she will have a better resurrection

-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 !!

A Better resurrection
Key Themes
-desperation
-impatience
-intimacy
-humility
-life after death (eternal life)
-grief
-hope

An Apple Gathering Summary
The speaker laments on her previous status, before she most likely lost her virginity. Surrounded by those who are still pure, she feels like an outcast and mildly protests how everyone has abandoned her.’

An Apple Gathering Key Quotes
-‘Sweet-voiced they sang beneath the sunset sky.’
-‘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.’

An Apple Gathering key devices
-personification of the basket
-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).

An Apple Gathering Rhyme Scheme + imagery
Rhyme Scheme: ABABCDCD mostly but there is an exception … broken up by the line ‘We shall not walk again!.’

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.’

An Apple Gathering
Contextual stuff
Written shortly after Rossetti had lost her first love, *James Collinson*, whose flitting between Catholicism and Anglicanism left them with irreconcilable differences.

—-> 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.

An Apple gathering Themes
-fallen women
-temptation
-beauty
-sin
-isolation/loneliness

Winter : My Secret Summary
The speaker here is playful as although she reveals that she has a secret, she refuses to tell the auditor for several reasons;
-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

Winter: my secret
Key Quotations
-‘But not today; it froze, and blows and snows.’
-‘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.’

Winter: My Secret

Winter: My Secret
Key Devices
-Use of personal pronouns… speaker is very possessive… ‘ My Secret’
-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

Winter: My Secret
Rhyme +imagery
Rhyme: Couplets and triplets with occasional alternating rhymes

Metre is mostly iambic

Winter: My Secret
Contextual references
-critics have suggested that the poem is a commentary on the power of art, language, play and poetic practice
-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.

Winter: My Secret
themes
-Privacy
-Seasons
-Identity
-Curiosity
-Teasing/nonsense

Maude Clare
Summary
Maude Clare and Nell are in love with the same man, Thomas, who has chosen to marry Nell (most likely an arranged marriage.) On his wedding day, Maude turns up with the gifts he presented her in their unfulfilled courtship. Nell says she still loves him and overlooks his past.

Maude Clare
Key Quotations
-‘His bride was a village maid,/ Maude Clare was like a queen.’
-‘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.’

Maude Clare
key devices
-Dialogue
-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.

Maude Clare
rhyme scheme + imagery
Maude Clare is structured around a series of comparisons and juxtapositions.
1. Maude Clare and Nell are first compared.
2.Generational contrasts

Written in ballad form
Rhyme Scheme: abab
Rhythm= iambic tetrameter and trimeter

Maude Clare
Contextual references
To Victorians, marriage was seen as the centre of a stable society, a god marriage was also important to insure that a woman could be comfortable financially.

Maude Clare
Themes
-secrecy
-rejected lovers
-spite
-determination
-devotion

At Home
Summary
The speaker now dead returns to her house full of friends. Her friends look forward to a trip they have planned and are intent on reaching the ‘eyrie seat.’
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.

At Home
Key Quotations
-“Feasting beneath green orange boughs;… wine”
-“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”

At Home
Key Devices
-exotic imagery … ‘green orange boughs’… artificial
-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.

At Home
Rhyme and imagery
-A lyric poem

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’

At Home
Contextual references
-The speaker might not be dead, could be seen as how she feels after renouncing earthly joys in favour of devoting herself to her faith.

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.’

At Home
Themes
-Death
-Love
-Home
-Supernatural
-Loneliness/ Isolation
-Gluttony and indulgence
-Optimism vs hopelessness
-Uncertainty vs certainty

Up Hill
Summary
In uphill the speaker sets out to take an epic journey, one that is most likely spiritual and will eventually bring her to eternal life in heaven.

The journey could refer to life itself, the journey of life or the journey after death.

Up Hill
Key Quotations
-‘Does the road wind up-hill all the way?’
-‘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.’

Up Hill
Key devices
-it has a conversational tone which is endearing and gentle. (could be Jesus)
-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

Up Hill rhyme and imagery
Rhyme: ABAB
the rhymes have masculine endings
Up Hill is a ballad.
Meter is largely iambic.

Up Hill
contextual references
-‘Of labour you shall fund the sum’ can be linked to the New Testament (John) considers in Revelation, the last book of the Bible.

-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. ‘

Up Hill
Themes
-Life and Death
-Companionship
-Epic/ journey
-Religious Discipline
-Doubt + uncertainty.

The Convent Threshold
Summary
The speaker is ready to turn to a more pure lifestyle, free of sin but finds that she cannot easily abandon her lover. She therefore urges for him to repent, so that they can spend eternity in heaven together.

The Convent Threshold
Key Quotations
-‘I choose the stairs that mount above.’
-‘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.’

The Convent Threshold
Devices
-Gothic Motifs… bloodshed, dreams, visions
-Repetition
-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
-Assonance
-Alliteration

The Convent Threshold
rhyme + imagery
Rhyme scheme: irregular
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 Convent Threshold
contextual references
-‘to wash the spot’ can be referenced to Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth, in terms of the guilt shared by Lord and Lady Macbeth who have the blood of King Duncan on their hands which they cannot remove.
-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.’

The Convent Threshold
Themes
-earthly love vs God’s love
-sin and forgiveness
-Romantic love
-desperation/urgency
-renunciation
-salvation
-Lent

Song (When I am dead my dearest)
Summary
The speaker, most likely dead peacefully contemplates death and asks for no sympathy or mourning from her lover.

Song (When I am dead, my dearest)
Key Quotes
-‘Be the green grass above me.’
-‘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.’

Song
Devices
-Symbolism… eg. ‘cypress tree’ = symbolise mourning ( branches were traditionally carried at funerals)

-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.

Song

Rhyme

-Only 2 lines linger than a sonnet
-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’.

Song
Contextual references
-The narrator’s indifferent to remembering love, and a sense of peacefulness in her future inability to remember can be contrasted with the view of the
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

Song
Themes
-Nature
-life
-death
-burial rights

Summer is ended/ Summary
Rossetti explores the nature of death, the journey of life and how it changes us. Also explores the different attitudes, it is very introspective creating a tone of hopelessness or inevitability.
The passage of time.

Summer is ended Key Quotes
-‘scentless, colourless this!.’
-‘Sooner,later, at last.’

Summer is ended/ Devices
-Punctuation… the use of commas to create variation in meaning. eg. excalmation marks, the use of brackets (who knows?)
-symbolism of flowers
– the title itself ‘Summer is ended’ creates an in-between state…

Summer is ended/ Rhyme
-Irregular rhythm but rhyme scheme is constant

Summer is ended/ Context
The title is derived from a passage in the Old Testament book, Jeremiah:
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.

Summer is ended/Themes
-Death
-Passage of time
-Beauty as ‘Vanity of Vanities’
-Religious devotion and waiting