Monday, March 28, 2016

Christina Rossetti*

Christina Rossetti (1830—1894) is one of the best-known English poets of the nineteenth century. Her most famous collection is Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862). Her work became somewhat neglected with the rise of modernism in the early twentieth century, but gained a resurgence by the 1970s. She is said to have been a significant influence on Gerard Manley Hopkins, Elizabeth Jennings and Philip Larkin, among others.

In 1871 she was diagnosed with Graves' Disease, which she bravely endured with the help of her strong faith. She continued publishing poetry at this point, including A Pageant and Other Poems (1881), but primarily focused on devotional prose writing. She was considered the obvious candidate to succeed Alfred, Lord Tennyson as poet laureate — but she developed cancer in 1891, which eventually took her life.

Easter Monday

Out in the rain a world is growing green,
--On half the trees quick buds are seen
----Where glued-up buds have been.
Out in the rain God's Acre stretches green,
--Its harvest quick tho' still unseen:
----For there the Life hath been.

If Christ hath died His brethren well may die,
--Sing in the gate of death, lay by
----This life without a sigh:
For Christ hath died and good it is to die;
--To sleep whenso He lays us by,
----Then wake without a sigh.

Yea, Christ hath died, yea, Christ is risen again:
--Wherefore both life and death grow plain
----To us who wax and wane;
For Christ Who rose shall die no more again:
--Amen: till He makes all things plain
----Let us wax on and wane.

*This is the second Kingdom Poets post about Christina Rossetti: first post, third post, fourth post.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection, Conspiracy of Light: Poems Inspired by the Legacy of C.S. Lewis, is available from Wipf & Stock as is his earlier award-winning collection, Poiema.