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Who Was Christina Rossetti?

By January 9, 2014

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Christina RossettiChristina Rossetti (pseudonym Ellen Alleyne) was part of the Pre-Raphaelite movement (she was born into an artistic family--her father was a poet and her brother was a famous painter and poet).

She's now recognized as one of the most important women poets of the 19th century. Some of the works for which she is most famous include: Goblin Market, A Birthday, and Up-Hill.

In Song, Christina Rossetti writes,

"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..."

Christina Rossetti

Virginia Woolf once said of Christina Rossetti: "Your instinct was so pure, so intense that it produced poems that sing like music in one's ears--like a melody by Mozart or an air by Gluck." Read Christina Rossetti's collected works, and then find books about Rossetti's works.

So, who was she? Why is she still so memorable?

In 1895, Arthur Symons wrote, "It is through this mastery over her own nature, this economy of her own resources, that she takes rank among poets rather than among poetesses."

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