Monday, April 13, 2009

I'm Up Late Writing a Paper on the Suppressed Sensuality in the Poems of Christina Rossetti.

Yet for all its symmetry, yours was a complex song. When you struck your harp many strings sounded together. Like all instinctives you had a keen sense of the visual beauty of the world. Your poems are full of gold dust and "sweet geraniums' varied brightness"; your eye noted incessantly how rushes are "velvet-headed," and lizards have a "strange metallic mail" -- your eye, indeed, observed with a sensual pre-Raphaelite intensity that must have surprised Christina the Anglo-Catholic. But to her you owed perhaps the fixity and sadness of your muse...No sooner have you feasted on beauty with your eyes than your mind tells you that beauty is vain and beauty passes. Death, oblivion, and rest lap round your songs with their dark wave.

- Virginia Woolf on Christina Rossetti.

Read Rossetti's Goblin Market. Incredible.