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Analysis of Song by Christina Georgina Rossetti

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Analysis of Song by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

Christina Georgina Rossetti, sister of Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood founder Dante Rossetti. Was born in 1830 and died in 1894, aged 64. Christina Georgina Rossetti began writing her first poems at eleven. She produced a small volume of poetry that was later privately published by her grandmother.

The poem is written in the present tense and is presented in the first person starting with "When I" which gives the poem a personal feel and is possible that the poets' personal feelings are being portrayed. In the first line we can see that the poem has been written to address a loved one: "my dearest". The poem is very lyrical and has a regular rhyme scheme that is divided into two stanzas. In the first stanza the poet is telling her loved one what she does not want them to do after her death, asking them not to mark her death in the usual way. During the second stanza, the poet is addressing what she thinks death will be like for her. She does not want sad songs or flowers at her grave. She does not want a tree planted in her memory and she does not even mind if her loved one forgets her. She is saying that she will not be able to see, feel or hear the gestures, so nothing her loved one will do will matter to her.

The parallelism in Rossetti's poem "And if thou wilt remember, And if thou wilt, forget," creates a rhythmic flow but also gets the poets message across that she does not care about being remembered. The archaic word 'thou' used here known to be an informal version of 'you' shows that the person the poem is addressed to is definitely someone the poet is close to.

The first stanza of this poem contains words that have the connotation of life such as 'roses', 'green grass', 'showers' and 'dew drops' which can be linked to spring, life or seen as things of beauty. However the 'cypress tree' mentioned is a common ancient poetic symbol of death. In the second stanza there are connotations of darkness with the words 'shadows' 'twilight' and 'nightingale'. These words show that this is an unhappy part of the poem for the poet, as it is discussing what death will be like for the speaker. The line "I shall not hear the nightingale Sing on as if in pain" could be a metaphor of her lovers' grief. Nightingales are an ancient poetic bird and male nightingales are thought to sing during the night to attract a mate. So the nightingale could be a symbol of her lovers' pain. The connotations of 'night' could symbolise that she will not be able to hear or recognise the pain in the 'darkness' as she is dead. These two lines also have enjambment, which the poet uses several times in the poem, it gives the lines a feel of significant importance

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