Christina Rossetti: Poetry And Devotion Essay

2339 words - 9 pages

The Victorian England witnessed many developments ranging from the social to the literary fields. Literature being the very reflection of society since ages continued in the nineteenth century England also as the vehicle of expression. While the scientific advancement was the trend, there were many writers who sought a subjective involvement with life owing to the growth of uncertainty and doubts and took refuge from the religious domains. Poets like Matthew Arnold saw religion as the perfect hope for sustenance and apart from him, there were many other writers who made their say whether in the form of poetry or prose and contributed to the world literary domain. An effective woman voice of the period was Christian Georgina Rossetti. Rossetti was gifted with a great lyrical quality and belonging to the lineage of Italian art, she had an expertise with regard to the imagery and symbols. In addition to this, an important aspect that her art of poetry possessed was a devotional spirit. Rossetti was a woman of faith and her relationship with God was out of this world. The following paper will attempt at bringing into limelight the devotional fervour of her poetry and the way religion acted as a solace to her granting her and her work an extraordinary capacity to sustain through ages.

Born in the nineteenth century England, Christina Georgina Rossetti exists, even today, as one of the most influential women poets in the world literature. Rossetti was the youngest child in the family and had an exceptionally happy childhood with supportive parents and equally talented siblings. As an adult, however, she grew quite restrained in character. Her personality was influenced by religion to a very large extent and the importance of her faith for life and her art can never be overstated. The most recurring themes of her poetry include the changeability of human love, the vanity of earthly love, renunciation, individual unworthiness and the perfection of divine love. Her works, however, at large are devotional in spirit. “Her peculiar originality as a religious poet lies in the fact that, unlike, the majority of religious poets, she is in no way concerned with preaching to others or moralizing for others; or dealing with the intellectual difficulties that best faith”(Rickett: 472). Rossetti’s beliefs were formed in her childhood itself and she clung to them till her death. The influence of religion upon her was such that she rejected two of her lovers on religious grounds. The unfulfilled love affected her thoughts, her feelings but she never let hold of the faith that she possessed with regard to her religion. Rossetti was Anglo-catholic in her belief and strongly Puritan. The Church, the Bible and the social welfare activities constituted a chunk of her life. Her brother William Rossetti opines that religion was of a paramount concern to Christina. In fact her first poetic piece was a ‘Hymn’ that she had written for her mother on her birthday. Religion...

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