Remember By Christina Rossetti 1830 1894 Remember What

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Remember By Christina Rossetti 1830 -1894

Remember By Christina Rossetti 1830 -1894

Remember What do we understand from the title of the poem?

Remember What do we understand from the title of the poem?

Remember me when I am gone away, Gone far away into the silent land;

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 planned: 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.

AO 3: Context

AO 3: Context

1830 -1894 Pre-Raphaelite Christina Rossetti was born in London; her father was a painter

1830 -1894 Pre-Raphaelite Christina Rossetti was born in London; her father was a painter and political exile from Italy and her mother was the sister of John Polidori, the friend and physician of Lord Byron. Her brother was Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who founded the Pre. Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848. She grew up surrounded by literature and was deeply influenced by Italian writers. In the 1840 s, her fathers physical and mental health deteriorated, causing financial difficulties for the family. His suspected tuberculosis meant he gave up his job and although he lived for another 11 years he suffered from depression and was never physically well again. When she was 14, Rossetti herself suffered a nervous breakdown and bouts of depression and illness followed. Rossetti had three potential engagements but refused all, two on the grounds of religious conviction. Much of her early work focused on death and loss. Her most famous collection – which featured Remember – was published when she was 31 and she became the foremost female poet of her time. She died of breast cancer in 1894.

The Pre-Raphaelites The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was formed in 1848, initially of seven members but

The Pre-Raphaelites The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was formed in 1848, initially of seven members but with other male and female artists, poets and critics eventually sharing their philosophy. The group's intention was to reform art. They objected to the classical poses and elegant compositions of Raphael (hence Pre-Raphaelite) and sought a return to abundant detail, intense colours and complex compositions of 15 th century Italian art. Rossetti (brother of Christina) in particular wanted to make links between Romantic poetry and art, reflecting the movement’s commitment to imitation of nature as central to the purpose of art. They believed that art was essentially spiritual in nature. They met with much controversy, including the condemnation of Charles Dickens over one particular painting. Their work put atmosphere and mood before narrative, focusing on medieval subjects, artistic introspection, female beauty, sexual yearning and altered states of consciousness. They helped to popularise the notion of ‘art for art’s sake’.

AO 2: Language and Imagery

AO 2: Language and Imagery

Remember me when I am gone away, Gone far away into the silent land;

Remember me when I am gone away, Gone far away into the silent land; The distance between them is reinforced by the repetition of ‘gone away’ with the added adjective ‘far’. What is the poet saying here? What is the significance of the metaphor ‘silent land’? What do you think it represents?

A symbol of death… ‘the silent land’ ‘the’ gives it a sense of importance,

A symbol of death… ‘the silent land’ ‘the’ gives it a sense of importance, leading to an understanding that this is heaven. A spiritual rather than physical place. 1. Revelation 14: 13 “Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. " "Yes, " says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labour. ” – Death is a place of silent rest. Rossetti often presents heaven as a place where the righteous can rest after their struggles on earth. 2. Wordsworth, Tintern Abbey: “If I should be, where I no more can hear/Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes these gleams/Of past existence” – Death is a place where we can no longer communicate with (hear or see) our loved ones.

When you can no more hold me by the hand, Nor I half turn

When you can no more hold me by the hand, Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay. Repetition of ‘turn’ reinforces that she cannot turn from death. She cannot change her mind and stay. What is the poet saying here? 1. A symbol of first love (holding hands). 2. A physical representation of love that will be impossible once she is dead. 3. The alliteration softens the impact of the imperative ‘remember’, creating a more consoling tone.

Remember me when no more day by day You tell me of our future

Remember me when no more day by day You tell me of our future that you planned: Only remember me; you understand It will be late to counsel then or pray. This future no longer exists. A sense of loss. A second imperative – and third, but softened this time with ‘only’. What is the effect of this? Prayers and counsel are needed now; it will be too late after she is dead – he will only be able to remember.

Signals the volta, or shift, reinforced by the replacement of ‘remember’ with ‘forget’ A

Signals the volta, or shift, reinforced by the replacement of ‘remember’ with ‘forget’ A further softening of ‘remember’ 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, A trace/leftover. What is this referring to? What is the poet saying here? What might ‘darkness’ and ‘corruption’ refer to? (Hint: they come very close after ‘grieve’. )

For if the darkness and corruption leave A vestige of the thoughts that once

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. Alliteration creates a soothing sound. The rhyme of had/sad reinforces the contrast between remembering and forgetting ‘Remember’ is now directly contrasted with ‘forget’. It is better that he does the latter. Why? What is the poet saying here? How might the final line be seen as an act of true love or self-sacrifice?

“Remember” The word ‘remember’ runs like a refrain throughout the sonnet. Its power seems

“Remember” The word ‘remember’ runs like a refrain throughout the sonnet. Its power seems to decrease as the sonnet goes on, almost like the speaker is fading or her grip on the idea of memory decreases. • Lines 1 and 5: the imperative ‘remember’ is placed at the start of the line • Line 7: the word appears in the middle of the line, modified by ‘only’ • Line 10: the middle of the line, ‘and afterwards…’, preceded by ‘forget’ on line 9 • Line 14: towards the end of the line, ‘better you forget’ (line 13) ‘than that you should remember’ – it here loses its association with ‘me’

AO 2: Form / Structure

AO 2: Form / Structure

Remember me when I am gone away, Gone far away into the silent land;

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 planned: 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. Can you identify the rhyme scheme?

A B B A C D D E C E Remember me when I

A B B A C D D E C E 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 planned: 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. The cyclical nature of this rhyme scheme reflects the cyclical nature of the poem: things always come back to where they started. Life –> death –> life after death (in the form of memory). The regularity of the iambic pentameter reinforces the sense of control the speaker attempts to establish.

A B B B A C D D E C E Remember me when

A B B B A C D D E C E 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 planned: 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. The octave is contemplative and reconciled to the idea of death: she is content to exist in her beloved’s memory. She has not yet, however, made peace with the idea of being forgotten. The volta sees the speaker’s tone change: she gives up the need to be remembered. The sestet sees her wish her beloved happiness, even if that means she is forgotten. Note the internal rhyme of yet/forget drawing attention to the shift of the volta. The form of a Petrarchan sonnet shows how the speaker sacrifices her personal desires in an expression of true love. This fits with the Pre. Raphelite philosophy of acceptance of death and material troubles fading when compared with the struggles of the mind.

AO 4/5: Links and Interpretations

AO 4/5: Links and Interpretations

It is notable that in this poem we hear the voice of a woman.

It is notable that in this poem we hear the voice of a woman. We know that woman in Victorian society were expected to play a passive role, subject to the control of dominant men. Think about how this theme has been present in the other poems we have studied. With this consideration in mind, we can take an alternative reading of the poem – that the speaker is possessed and controlled by the unnamed male. When you can no more hold me by the hand, Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay. You tell me of our future that you planned It will be late to counsel then or pray If this is the case, then the ‘darkness and corruption’ become something more sinister, e. g. her life, and the ‘vestiges’ of her thoughts become something that her beloved is better to ignore, perhaps her resentment. Is this a woman trying to break free from the control of a man? He holds on to her possessively She cannot leave when she wants to He talks at her; he is the one controlling her future He advises her and controls her spiritually as well as physically What does this reading offer us?

Examine the view that Christina Rossetti presents the speaker in this poem as having

Examine the view that Christina Rossetti presents the speaker in this poem as having a selfless attitude to love. Think about: • The characteristics of love • The representation of the people involved • The feelings of the speaker • Any imagery or language used • The way the structure and form reflects this Make sure you cover all the AOs in your answer.

Fill in your CLIFS sheet for this poem. Remember, this will be a revision

Fill in your CLIFS sheet for this poem. Remember, this will be a revision aid!