Thursday, November 19, 2015

Goblin Market and Other Poems

Goblin Market and Other Poems. Christina Rossetti. 1862. 208 pages. [Source: Bought]

Poetry is not something I review frequently at Becky's Book Reviews. I tend to have a love-hate relationship with the genre. Either I love, love, love a particular poet, or, I don't. Typically, it isn't so much "hate" as indifference or even confusion. But now and then I "discover" a poet that makes me really love sitting down with a book of poetry. One of my happy discoveries of the year is Christina Rossetti. Technically I was familiar with her poem "Goblin Market" having studied it in school way back when. But since I haven't read another poem by Rossetti until this year, I'm counting her as a NEW discovery.

This poetry collection was first published in 1862. It begins with "Goblin Market." And I do have to say that if you just read one poem this year, it should be Goblin Market, in my opinion!!! It is about two sisters, Laura and Lizzie. And, of course, it features goblins selling forbidden fruit and other goodies. One sister is tempted beyond what she can stand, and, well, you should read it for yourself!

The collection includes other poems as well. Some short. Some long. Some darker than others perhaps. But not all the poems are dreary and melancholy. All feel authentically human, and capture something of the human experience. Rossetti also wrote devotional poems, but, the poems in this collection are different. Almost like the poems capture not what we should feel or ought to feel or what we want to feel, but, instead how we do feel--for better or worse.

Some poems focus on the seasons, on nature, on the natural way of things--including life, death, change, renewal. Some poems focus on love and relationships. Not all poems end happily ever after, in fact, many don't. But there is something beautiful about the poems even when they are about broken relationships.

Poems I'd recommend:

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Cee Arr 10:15 AM  

Rossetti's brother, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, also wrote poetry - though he's better known as a member of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood. His poems are *stunning* (though often too overtly sexy for the Victorians) - 'Jenny' is one of my particular favourites of his

JaneGS 12:39 PM  

I like Christina Rossetti but never heard of this poem or collection, now I'm intrigued. I've been hankering after poetry lately so your post is very timely!

Thanks for the recommendation.

Kelly-Belly 5:34 PM  

I really like the poem In the bleak midwinter. Thank you for posting this. I am so glad I am following your blog.

Sherry 10:13 PM  

I tend to prefer Christina Rossetti's short poems. Goblin Market is just creepy, as far as I'm concerned. But maybe I just don't get it. I had to have someone (a friend) work with me for a solid year before I came to any appreciation of T.S. Eliot.

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