A Personal Interpretation of the Poem of Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti has a very passive way of writing about the inevitable aspects of life. Her Song beginning with “She sat and sang away”, seems to be a reflection by the speaker of her perspective during two different points in her life– a past self and a future self. The first quatrain seems reflective of a simpler time of the speaker’s life, perhaps childhood, when she has hope for better days (her past self). The second quatrain is referring to a time of despair, where life is not working out the way she dreamed, reality sets in and she is forced to live in it (her future self).

The last quatrain is where these perspectives meet and are intertwined in the lines where she acknowledges and accepts how things are.

The first quatrain seems to be innocent in its context: “She sat and sang alway/By the green margin of a stream”(1-2), reflective of her naive past- self–perhaps her youth when she has nothing to worry about so she sits next to a stream and sings freely.

“Watching the fishes leap and play/Beneath the glad sunbeam”(3-4), seems to be the little carefree joy of life like watching a fish play -playing a part of childhood – as the sun is personified and beaming with approval.

The next lines of the second quatrain are opposite to the previous quatrain’s tone. These lines seem to be aiming towards a point in the speaker’s life where she has been jaded, her hopeful nature is no longer apparent, and she is realizing it is out of her control.

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“I sat and wept away/ Beneath the moon’s shadowy beam”(5-6), in contrast to the first quatrain which spoke of singing and approval of sunbeams; these lines are fixated on the moon and the dark aspects that come with the night. The shadows are reminders and regret, while the rights are a symbol of the melancholy of reality. “Watching the blossoms of the May/ Weep leaves into the stream.”(7-8), could be about aging and how beautiful things must eventually die; the once bloom once-blooming of May “weeping” into the stream is symbolic of something once so planned and put together falling apart.

The last quatrain begins with the line “I wept for memory;”(9) as if the memory she is reflecting upon is the following line, “She sang for hope that is so fair”(10)–singing for hope or the promise of a worthwhile future. “My tears were swallowed by the sea;”(11) is referring to her hopes and dreams not meeting catching up to her future self; While “Her songs died on the air”(12) is the fading hope becoming acceptance that not all things are meant to be.

Although her poems tend to be heavy, Christina Rossetti always seems to be finding an acceptance and understanding of the way things have to be, she is authentic. This Song is an example of her reflecting on a subject people do not like to think about which is time and the aging that goes along with it. No one wants to admit it, but we all must give up on some of our dreams – which is a sad aspect of reality.

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A Personal Interpretation of the Poem of Christina Rossetti. (2022, Jun 16). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/a-personal-interpretation-of-the-poem-of-christina-rossetti/

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