The Remarkable Journey of Victorian Poetess Christina Rossetti

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The remarkable journey of Victorian poetess Christina Rossetti began on December 5, 1830, in London, England. Born to Italian parents with literary and scholarly inclinations, Rossetti was exposed to the world of literature and art at a very young age. This early exposure set the foundation for her future career as a poetess and her significant contribution to Victorian literature.

Christina Rossetti’s poetry is characterized by its rich imagery and complex themes, which often grappled with matters of life, death, love, and faith. Her works were not merely products of her imagination; they were deeply influenced by her personal experiences and beliefs. As a devout Anglican, Rossetti’s faith played a central role in her poetry. Her religious convictions were strongly reflected in her works, which often explored the themes of salvation and redemption.

Rossetti’s career as a poetess really took off with the publication of Goblin Market and Other Poems in 1862. The collection was well-received by critics and cemented her reputation as one of the leading female poets of the time. The titular poem, “Goblin Market”, is still widely studied and celebrated for its vivid imagery and layered meanings.

Despite the hardship she faced, including ill-health, Christina Rossetti continued to write until her final years. Her resilience and unwavering dedication to her craft are testament to her remarkable journey as a poetess. She passed away in 1894, but her legacy continues to inspire poets and readers alike. Her works are not only considered classics of Victorian literature but they have also paved the way for future generations of women writers. Christina Rossetti’s remarkable journey is a testament to her enduring impact on the world of literature.

Dream Land

Where sunless rivers weep
Their waves into the deep,
She sleeps a charmed sleep:
Awake her not.
Led by a single star,
She came from very far
To seek where shadows are
Her pleasant lot.

She left the rosy morn,
She left the fields of corn,
For twilight cold and lorn
And water springs.
Through sleep, as through a veil,
She sees the sky look pale,
And hears the nightingale
That sadly sings.

Rest, rest, a perfect rest
Shed over brow and breast;
Her face is toward the west,
The purple land.
She cannot see the grain
Ripening on hill and plain;
She cannot feel the rain
Upon her hand.

Rest, rest, for evermore
Upon a mossy shore;
Rest, rest at the heart’s core
Till time shall cease:
Sleep that no pain shall wake;
Night that no morn shall break
Till joy shall overtake
Her perfect peace.

-Christina Rossetti

Curated by Jennifer

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