Literature & Life

Remembering “Remember by Christina Rossetti”

Christina Rossetti is one of the most well-known female Victorian poets. She was born on December 5th, 1830, in London. She came from a long line of artists and authors. Gabriel Rossetti, her father, was a poet, scholar, and an Italian nobleman. Dante Gabriel Rossetti, her brother, was also a poet, artist, and translator. The Pre-Raphaelite Movement was created by him. Christina Rossetti’s first collection of poems was published in 1848 in the Athenaeum, a periodical dedicated to poetry. Her writing displayed a wide range of styles. Goblin Market and Other Poems 1862 is her most famous work. She is regarded as one of the most important Pre-Raphaelite poets. She was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, breast cancer, and other ailments as she neared the end of her life. On December 29, 1894, she passed away.

Christina Rossetti wrote a Petrarchan Sonnet called Remember. It is divided into two sections: Octave and Sestet. The Octave uses an abbaabba rhyme scheme, while the Sestet uses a cddece rhyme scheme. The Sonnet is a lovely expression of both human and divine love.


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.

Christina Rossetti

The poetess talks about the sorrowful feeling of separation at the start of the Sonnet. Christina Rossetti is known for her religious themes, but she selects the theme of death for this poem. As previously stated, the poem begins with a discussion of separation; but it is difficult to determine whether the separation is temporary or permanent… however, as the poem progresses, we gain a better understanding of the topic.

Death has the potential to affect both the lover’s and the beloved’s lives. Separation can also be exacerbated by death. Though death can cause separation; the poetess believes that it can also provide an opportunity to unite with God. Christina Rossetti appears befuddled here. She is not able to see how mortal and immortal love can be compared on equal footing, but she begs her beloved to remember her when she leaves this mortal world. She recalls all of the wonderful times she had shared with her lover. They had fantasised about their future and about living together for the rest of their lives… but she is now unable to keep her promise and is abandoning him halfway. When she leaves, the lover will be alone and lonely, and even if he wants to meet her, he won’t be able to. Except in his memories.

The poetess notes in the poem’s final section that memories of departed people fade with time, but those recollections can sometimes bring enormous agony and that if her beloved is in suffering, he should try to divert his attention by doing something delightful. She advises the lover to get on with his life. This demonstrates her sincere love for her lover, as she wishes for her lover to be happy at all times, even when she is gone.

The exquisite feelings and emotions between the two lovers are depicted in this poetry. These lovers are truly in love and want to spend the rest of their lives together… but fate has other plans for them. Destiny intends for them to be apart. Because the beloved understands that her lover will be in a lot of agony and suffering once she dies, she advises him to try to forget her. Remembering the past can only cause anguish in the lover’s life, so he should forget her and strive to start a new life joyfully. The current Sonnet is a wonderful illustration of selfless and pure love.

Jogan More

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