Poetry by Rossetti

Poetic Techniques and Context

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Poetry and Poetic Techniques


Rhythm of a poem

Important element in the structure of poetry

Analysed in terms of feet- a small number of consecutive syllables

Stressed/unstressed- a foot is classified according to the pattern of stresses


Regular pattern of rhyme only- rhyme scheme

Rhyming poems can have no regular pattern

According to rhyme sounds and uses letters of the alphabet to identify

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End rhyme: when the most noticeable rhyme is at the end of the line

Internal rhyme: when words rhyme with other words within the rhyme

Half rhyme: when only the vowels or consonants are identical

Eye rhyme: when the spelling of the word is identical but pronunciation is different

Masculine rhyme: rhyme of one syllable

Feminine rhyme: rhyme of two or more syllables

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Blank Verse:

Regular meter

No rhyme

Most common- iambic pentameter

Free Verse:

No rhyme or structure

Relies solely on words to create emotional and aesthetic effect

Tries to put 'the right words in the right places'

More experimental than formal verse

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Rossetti- 1830-1894

Born in London- educated at home- brother was artist- father was a poet and political asylum seeker- suffered from a nervous breakdown aged 14- left school

Bouts of depression- became interested in the Anglo-Catholic movement- engaged to painter James Collison- ended because he reverted to Catholicism- engaged to linguist Charles Cayley- also did not marry for religious reasons- volunteer worker for 11 years at St Mary Magdalene 'house of charity'- a refuge for prostitutes

Began writing at 7- 18 when first published a poem- appeared in athenaeum magazine- critical praise- described as natural successor of Elizabeth Barrett Browning- wrote 'In the Bleak Midwinter'

Focused on devotional writing and children's poetry- large circle of friends- ambivalent about women's suffrage- opposed to war, slavery, cruelty to animals, exploitation of girls, military aggression

Died from cancer- popularity suffered from modernism- feminists rediscovered her

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The Victorians

Conveyed connotations of 'prudish', 'repressed', 'old fashioned'- second English Renaissance- great expansions of wealth, power and culture

Invented teh modern idea of invention- create solutions to problems- man can create new means of bettering himself and his environment

A great age of religious doubt- question institutional Christianity- literature adn arts combined Romantic emphases upon self, emotion and imagination with Neoclassical ones upon the public role of art and a corollary responsibility of the artist

Ideology, politics and society- astonishing innovation and change- democracy, feminism, unionisation of workers, socialsim, Marxism- Darwin, Marx, Freud- modern problems- modern solutions- provoked a powerful reaction against itself

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The Pre-Raphaelites

Art and literature- two different and almost opposed movements- the second grew out of the first- originated from Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood- mid nineteenth century avante garde painters associated with Ruskin- great effect on British, American and European art

Founded in 1849 by Hunt, Rossetti, Millais, Rossetti, Collinson, Woolner and Stephens to revitalize the arts- Christina Rossetti was a crucial member of the inner circle- never published a manifesto- create an art suitable for the modern age

Testing and defying all conventions of art- precise representation of humble objects- transform the resultant hard edge realism- encouraged writers and artists to practice each other's art- looked for new subjects in Shakespeare, Keats and Tennyson

Other artists and writers former part of a larger Pre-Raphaelite circle

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Second Stage- Aesthetic Pre-Raphaelitism

D G Rossetti- produced Arts and Crafts Movement, modern functional design and the Aesthetes and Decandents- themes of eroticized medievalism and pictorial techniques- moody atmosphere

More relevant to poetry- most influence upon literature- poetic continuum- descends from Spenser- through Keats and Tennyson- lush vowel sounds, sensuous description, subjective psychological states

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