CHRISTINA ROSSETTI QUESTIONS
Assigned: Christina Rossetti. "Song -- She sat and sang alway" (1460-61); "Song -- When I am dead . . ." (1461); "In an Artist's Studio" (1463); "An Apple-Gathering" (1464); "Winter My Secret" (1464-65); "No Thank You, John" (1478).
"Song (I): She Sat and Sang Alway"
1. What is the value of memory and hope in this poem? What changes have they wrought, if any, in this poem's speaker? From what force has the speaker been released?
2. How is this poem concerned with the limitations of expression? How are the speaker's emotions resolved or dealt with, if they in fact are dealt with?
"Song (II): "When I am Dead, My Dearest"
3. What is the point of the speaker's projecting consciousness beyond death?
4. How are remembrance and forgetting similar in their effect?
5. Is Nature present in this poem? If so, what role does it play?
"In an Artist's Studio"
6. What reflections does this poem make about the way Pre-Raphaelite art represents women?
7. How is the woman referred to in Christina Rossetti's poem transformed from her ordinary self, and to what end?
"An Apple Gathering"
8. How is an apple gathering a metaphor of something larger -- namely a relationship? What does the poem imply about the staying power of love?
"Winter My Secret"
9. What is the benefit to be gained from keeping a secret? How does the speaker treat the imagined addressee in this poem?
10. What purpose do the references to the seasons serve?
11. How is this poem about expression and concealment? What sorts of expression are alluded to?
"No Thank You, John"
12. How does this poem construct an unattractively "male" perspective on male/female relations, and how does the female speaker counter that perspective?
13. How does this poem differentiate between friendship and love?
Edition: Greenblatt, Stephen et al, eds. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 8th ed. Vol. E. New York: Norton, 2006. ISBN Package 2 (Vols. DEF) 0-393-92834-9.