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© Remember by Christina Rossetti Christina Rossetti ( ) was born into a family of poets and artists. They were also devoutly Christian. This fact led to the failure of two of her relationships due to religious differences. She published a large number of ballads, sonnets and religious poems in her life, many of which dealt with the theme of frustrated love and loss. Plagued with ill-health throughout her life, she eventually died of cancer. Want to know more? CLICK HERE (this is an external link).
© Rememberby Christina Rossetti A brotherhood of artists founded in 1848, a year in which revolutions were taking place all over Europe. In a world that was changing dramatically through industrialisation and rapidly growing cities (the 1851 census showed that, for the first time, more people lived in towns than the country), the Pre-Raphaelites wanted to re-examine and challenge accepted ideas and create art that was fresh and original. To see some of the art, go to the TATE (another external link)TATE To read more about the Pre-Raphaelites, click here (external link)here The Pre-Raphaelites
© Rememberby 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 remember me; you understand It will be late to counsel then or pray. Yet if you should forget me for a while And afterwards remember, do not grieve: For if the darkness and corruption leave A vestige of the thoughts that once I had, Better by far you should forget and smile Than that you should remember and be sad.
© Rememberby Christina Rossetti Remember me when I am gone away, Why start the poem with a command? Who is she talking to? What effect does this word have on the reader?
© Rememberby Christina Rossetti Gone far away into the silent land ; Why does she describe it as silent? Why does she use euphemisms instead of talking openly about death? A word or phrase used to avoid saying an unpleasant or offensive word. Gone far away into the silent land; Why does it have to be ‘far away’? What feeling is being created?
© Rememberby Christina Rossetti When you can no more hold me by the hand, When you can no more hold me by the hand What feeling does this image create? hold me by the hand When you can no more What effect do the use of the two personal pronouns have? How does the negative phrase work with the rest of the line?
© Rememberby Christina Rossetti Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay. Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay. Why only ‘half turn’? Does she want to leave? Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay. Again, the stress is on leaving and death. How does the punctuation add to the line?
© Rememberby Christina Rossetti Remember me when no more day by day Another command. This starts off the second set of four lines. How are they different? How does the end of this line underline the relationship that has been lost? day by day Remember me when no more A group of four lines in a poem is a quatrain. Look at their rhyme scheme. Remember me when no more day by day You tell me of our future that you plann'd: Only remember me; you understand It will be late to counsel then or pray.
© Rememberby Christina Rossetti You tell me of our future that you plann'd: How are personal pronouns used in this line? Notice the contracted word to ensure that the line maintains the regular 10 syllable rhythm. This is called an iambic pentameter. It crates a regular rhythm which can then be broken for effect. Look at how the break in rhythm is used in the next line. For more detail click here (external link)here
© Rememberby Christina Rossetti Only remember me The semi-colon provides a break in the regular rhythm and highlights the repeated request to ‘remember me’. you understand ; Only remember me; you understand It will be late to counsel then or pray. The second half of the sentence makes the theme of death and loss clear.
© Rememberby Christina Rossetti Yet if you should forget me for a while How does the tone of the poem change here? Yet if you should forget me for a while What effect does the internal rhyme have? Rossetti moves onto the second half of the poem. Rather than just repeat the instruction to ‘remember’, she acknowledges that life will continue without her. Yet if you should forget me for a while And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
© Rememberby Christina Rossetti And afterwards remember, do not grieve: The command is made all the clearer by the punctuation. How many commands are there in the poem? Why do you think this is the case?
© Rememberby Christina Rossetti For if the darkness and corruption leave What view of death do these words provide? A small remaining part of something that was far larger. The poet hopes that death will not remove all thoughts of her but that her partner will still remember a small proportion of the life they had together. A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
© Rememberby Christina Rossetti Than that you should remember and be sad. Better by far you should forget and smile Better by far you should forget and smile Another command phrase. But this time it is softened by not being at the start of a line. Why has the poet done this? The two contrasting phrases are put together in pairs which might, at first, seem odd. Why would the poet prefer that her partner forgot all about her?
© Rememberby Christina Rossetti Than that you should remember and be sad. Better by far you should forget and smile How do these two contrasting images sum up the meaning of the poem?
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