Goblin Market

“We must not look at goblin men, We must not buy their fruits:” Written in 1859 by  Christina Rossetti (sister to Dante Gabriel Rossetti), Goblin Market is a narrative poem of two sisters who encounter temptation. It is a complex poem–almost too complex to delve into for a blog post simply because it is hard…
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Rossetti’s Models

Like his Pre-Raphaelite brethren, Dante Gabriel Rossetti used live models in his works.  Throughout the course of his career, the same faces grace his canvasses, ranging from family members to lovers.  Occasionally, models Elizabeth Siddal and Alexa Wilding are confused for each other. Other models may be misidentified completely. so this post is intended to…
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Hide Me Among the Graves

Tim Powers doesn’t write about your run-of-the-mill vampires.  His undead may feed upon you, but in return they will inspire words and poetry that you could never have written before.  I found Powers’ mythology to be a refreshing twist.  In Hide Me Among the Graves, the artistic Rossetti family deals with the vampiric curse of…
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Love is a place

One of the benefits of an active reading life is that when you read not only for pleasure but for improvement, then similar themes in different authors’ works seem to just float to you. Unbidden. Like synergy. Today I read e.e.  cummings’ Love is a Place: love is a place & through this place of…
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I stretch my hands and catch at Hope

According to myth, after Prometheus stole fire from the gods, Zeus wanted to punish mankind. He ordered Hephaistos and other gods to create a woman that they would endow with gifts and beauty. Hephaistos created her lovely form; the Four Winds breathed life into her. Her beauty was given to her by Aphrodite. Zeus bestowed…
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Forbidden Fruit

Mauvais Sujet is not your stereotypical, chocolate-box-pretty Victorian portrait.  She’s almost uncomfortable to look at, as she is both very young and very sensual. On her desk you can see her name, Mary, scrawled in a childlike hand.  The childish scrawl is a direct contrast to her adult, knowing look.  I think it’s safe for us…
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Oh Beautiful Moon

Did you see the moon this weekend? The full-bodied and absolutely perfect moon? It has inspired a moon themed blog post of the Pre-Raphaelite variety: A Match With The Moon WEARY already, weary miles to-night I walked for bed: and so, to get some ease, I dogged the flying moon with similes. And like a…
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The Most Unexpected Pre-Raphaelite Sighting Yet

Of all of our Unexpected Pre-Raphaelite Sightings, this one surprised me the most.  We are avid Netflix users and my daughter and I have been watching Cheers together.  We started at episode 1 a few months ago and we reached season 10 over the weekend.  We just watched season 10’s Halloween episode and you can…
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Delightful! The Rossettis as cartoon characters

You know I love the Rossetti family, but I have never thought of them as adorable before.  Until I saw the illustrations of Chiara Moriconi, who captures the Rossetti clan delightfully. Here’s a link to the Rossetti album on Facebook, and a wonderful video that introduces members of Rossetti’s circle via chiaramoriconi.com.  

I Lock My Door Upon Myself

  Fernand Khnopff was not a Pre-Raphaelite painter, but I wanted to share his 1891 painting I Lock My Door Upon Myself which draws inspiration from Christina Rossetti’s poem Who Shall Deliver Me? Khnopff’s title comes specifically from this stanza: I lock my door upon myself, And bar them out; but who shall wall Self…
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Old and New Year Ditties by Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti’s Old and New Year Ditties strike me as somewhat melancholy: 1 New Year met me somewhat sad: Old Year leaves me tired, Stripped of favourite things I had Baulked of much desired: Yet farther on my road to-day God willing, farther on my way. New Year coming on apace What have you to…
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Christina Rossetti: Pre-Raphaelite Poetry

When discussing poetry and the Pre-Raphaelites, it is impossible not to think of Christina Rossetti.  Her brother, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, was one of the founding members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and used Christina as a model in some of his early Pre-Raphaelite works (The Girlhood of Mary Virgin and Ecce Ancilla Domini). The poem I’ve…
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De Profundis, by Christina Rossetti

Oh why is heaven built so far, Oh why is earth set so remote? I cannot reach the nearest star That hangs afloat. I would not care to reach the moon, One round monotonous of change; Yet even she repeats her tune Beyond my range. I never watch the scatter’d fire Of stars, or sun’s…
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Winter: My Secret

It is bitterly cold here today. Which has obviously influenced my choice for this week’s poem. With chilly bones I present to you Winter: My Secret by Christina Rossetti. Winter: My Secret I tell my secret? No indeed, not I: Perhaps some day, who knows? But not today; it froze, and blows, and snows, And…
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A Discovery by Christina Rossetti

A Discovery Christina Rossetti “I thought your search was over.” – “So I thought.” – “But you are seeking still.” – “Yes, even so: Still seeking in mine own despite below That which in Heaven alone is found unsought; Still spending for that thing which is not bought.” — “Then chase no more this shifting…
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Just added to my wishlist:

Oh, I hope to be able to purchase this soon!  The Demon and the Damozel: Dynamics of Desire in the Works of Christina Rossetti and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Here’s a snippet from the publisher: Suzanne M. Waldman views well-known poems and artworks such as Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market and Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s The Blessed Damozel…
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Remember

Remember, by Christina Rossetti REMEMBER me when I am gone away, Gone far away into the silent land; When you can no more hold me by the hand, Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay. Remember me when no more day by day You tell me of our future that you plann’d: Only…
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Piteous My Rhyme

Piteous My Rhyme Christina Rossetti Piteous my rhyme is What while I muse of love and pain, Of love misspent, of love in vain, Of love that is not loved again: And is this all then ? As long as time is, Love loveth. Time is but a span, The dalliance space of dying man:…
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Recent Visitor Email:

Hi Stephanie, I have been looking some more at the connections between some of the sisterhood and the society in which they lived. What is the connection between Queen Victoria and the Sisterhood? Queen Victoria’s home on the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England, Osbourne House, was one of many country houses…
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