Sing-Song by Christina RossettiGood poetry for children is rare. Few collections, few single poems in fact, survive beyond a few years of popularity. There are exceptions — the poetry and verse of Walter de la Mare, Lewis Carroll, and Edward Lear come to mind. Still rarer is successful childrens poetry by a poet known equally for other work, such as Christina Rossetti.
These verses — deceptively simple, light, often like a nursery rhyme in character — consider such topics as childhood activities, childrens cruelty and gentleness, roses and wild flowers, nesting birds and farm animals, cold winter and blossoming spring. Many pose riddles and conundrums (A hill has no leg, but has a foot;/A wine-glass a stem, but not a root).
This is the only edition in print to reproduce the poems with the illustrations which originally accompanied them. Engravings by Arthur Hughes, one of the best-known illustrators of the Victorian era, catch the mood of each verse.
Sing-Song is a fitting name for this collection: many of the verses capture the cadence of the ballad. Children will enjoy their music. Parents will find the simple content and lyrical language of the verses ideal for reading aloud.
When I am dead, my dearest
Christina Rossetti was one of the leading female poets of the Victorian era. When I am dead, my dearest, Sing no sad songs for me; Plant thou no roses at my head, Nor shady cypress tree: Be the green grass above me With showers and dewdrops wet; And if thou wilt, remember, And if thou wilt, forget. I shall not see the shadows, I shall not feel the rain; I shall not hear the nightingale Sing on, as if in pain: And dreaming through the twilight That doth not rise nor set, Haply I may remember, And haply may forget. Take that ending, for instance: Christina Rossetti implies, through stating that she may not remember her beloved after she has died, that there may be no afterlife, and that she may not be capable of remembering him. Rossetti seems to be unsure.
The notion of resting in a place where the rising and setting of the sun is not necessary comes from the New Testament book, Revelation. There, John describes heaven as a city where God's light shines so brightly the sun is not needed Revelation Poetry provides a natural outlet for the speaker's emotions. Memory is a sustaining force. In Song forgetfulness is the axis upon which the poem is rooted. This hints at the notion that identity is founded upon memory and that self-awareness is constructed by the remembrance of a former self. The images of natural growth in Song can be seen to replace the grief that the speaker anticipates her lover will experience after she has died.
Christina Rossetti Normally, we find that after the death people express their grief by singing sad songs and by planting roses and cypress tree. But the poet thinks that they are just showing off. She does not like showy behavior. She rather thinks that if people are really sorry for the death of their loving person they should be humble like grass and only few drops of tears will be sufficient. As the showers and dewdrops make the grass green forever, so the tears will make their love eternal.
By Christina Rossetti. When I am dead, my dearest,. Sing no sad songs for me;. Plant thou no roses at my head,. Nor shady cypress tree: Be the green grass.
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Christina Rossetti, selected poems Contents
Throughout Song Rossetti also uses alliteration and sibilance to create a song-like tone:. The first verse of Song is written in iambic tetrameter , with the first foot inverted in l. This creates a song-like rhythm. This is strengthened by the regularity of the second stanza, broken only by the trochee that starts the penultimate line. L ' - Synopsis and commentary More on the identity of L. L ' - Language, tone and structure 'L. The repetition of this phrase highlights the transformation of the speaker's senses after death.