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Selected Poems

Christina Rossetti

Edited by C.H. Sisson

Cover Picture of Selected Poems
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Categories: 19th Century, Bestsellers, British, Christianity, Women
Imprint: Fyfield Books
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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(Pub. Jan 1996)
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  • Description
  • Author
  • Contents
  • Reviews
  •    Christina Rossetti was in a sense the first poet of the Pre-Raphelites, her Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862) having been - as if by accident - the writing from that group which first caught public attention. It contains many of her best poems. Later work - devotional poems, love lyrics and descriptive pieces - extended the themes and forms of her first remarkable collection. It is remarkable, but in a quiet and intense way, not in the manner of those who seem to have learned from her among her contemporaries. Ford Madox Ford, who had a subtle ear for the unemphatic excellence of the nineteenth-century writers, called her 'the most valuable poet that the Victorian age produced'. Her modern admirers are many, especially among the poets. Philip Larkin speaks of her poetry as 'unequalled for its objective expression of happiness denied and a certain unfamiliar steely stoicism'.

    In this selection C.H. Sisson presents a wide range of her work and in his biographical and critical introduction suggests fresh perspectives on it. Sisson also includes here Rossetti's long-unavailable 'Maude, A Story for Girls', which was written when she was very young and gives some indication of her cast of mind and her skills as a writer of prose fiction. The character of Maude is a severe self-portrait, wry at her own expense. As Sisson says, 'with any poet the starting-point, social as well as literary, is worth finding out about'.
    Table of Contents



    Mary Magdalene

    Spring Quiet


    Bitter For Sweet

    Three Stages

      A Pause Of Thought

      The End Of The First Part


    One Certainty

    Two Pursuits

    A Testimony


    After Death

    Looking Forward


    Seeking Rest

    A Portrait



    Twilight Calm

    Two Thoughts of Death

    Is And Was

    The Three Enemies

      The Flesh

      The World

      The Devil

    The Summer Is Ended

    From The Antique

    For Rosaline's Album

    Next of Kin

    A Pause

    Holy Innocents

    A Wish



    From The Antique



    The First Spring Day

    My Dream

    The Last Look


    Old And New Year Ditties

    Shut Out

    A Chilly Night

    In The Lane

    A Bed Of Forget-Me-Nots

    Love From The North

    A Better Resurrection

    The Heart Knoweth Its Own Bitterness

    Fata Morgana

    One Day


    In The Round Tower At Jhansi


    A Birthday

    An Apple Gathering

    Winter: My Secret

    My Friend

    Another Spring


    At Home

    To-day and To-morrow

    Yet A Little While

    Goblin Market



    What Good Shall My Life Do Me?

    Cousin Kate

      From the Prince's Progress

    Sister Maude

    'No, Thank You, John'


    The Lambs of Grasmere (1860)

    Wife to Husband

    Promises Like Pie-Crust

    The Lowest Place


    The Queen of Hearts

    A Dumb Friend

    Life and Death

    Somewhere Or Other

    Weary In Well-Doing


    What Would I Give!

    Grown and Flown


    Shall I Forget?

    Dead Hope


    Italia, Io Ti Saluto

    A Daughter Of Eve

    A Dirge

    'To-day For Me'

    A Christmas Carol

    Yet A Little While

    'I Wish I Could Remember'

    'Youth Gone, And Beauty Gone'

    The Key-note

    He And She

    A Life's Parallels


    One Sea-side Grave

    'Bury Hope'

    'Roses On A Brier'

    'Heaven's Chimes Are Slow'

    'A Cold Wind Stirs'

    'Lord What Have I To Offer?

    'The Fields Are White'

    'Margaret Has a Milking Pail'

    Maude: A Story For Girls

    Christina Rossetti
    Christina Rossetti was born in 1830 in London and educated at home. She was associated with the Pre-Raphaelites through her brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Her first collection, Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862) was extremely successful and this was followed by The Prince's Progress and Other Poems (1866) and A Pageant ... read more
    C.H. Sisson
    Born in Bristol in 1914, C. H. Sisson was noted as a poet, novelist, essayist and an important translator. He was a great friend of the critic and writer Donald Davie, with whom he corresponded regularly. Sisson was a student at the University of Bristol where he read English and Philosophy. ... read more
    `His poems move in service of the loved landscapes of England and France; they sing (and growl) in love of argument, in love of seeing through, in love of the firm descriptions of moral self-disgust; they move in love of the old lost life by which the new life is condemned.'
    Donald Hall, New York Times Book Review
    'I think he is worth a place on the short shelf reserved for the finest twentieth-century poets, with Eliot and Rilke and MacDiarmid.'
    Robert Nye, the Scotsman
    Praise for Christina Rossetti 'Ballad and homily, suffused with sensuality and menace, its power derives in part from its dance of interwoven metres - and, at times, a delight in Skeltonics' 

    Michael W. Thomas, Times Literary Supplement

    'Mann seeks to place Rossetti's entire corpus within the context of her "religious seriousness" and makes an illuminating connection between her faith and the intimations of confession in her poems. One certain achievement of her poetry is that it has preserved its mysteries and kept us wondering.'

    James Antoniou, The Canberra Times

    'New Selected Poems is an excellent primer to Rossetti's work and may as well be the definitive anthology as it contains her unpublished work, which of a high standard. It also gives us 21st century folk an insight to the more rebellious side of Victorian era mentality.'

    Robert Pisani, The Bobosphere

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