Flashcards in Rossetti Critics Deck (7)
No, Thank You John: "What this poem asserts is a woman's right to say 'no', and to claim independence and agency for herself. Certainly, she is not to be bullied into a relationship because a man or social convention more generally demands it."
From the Antique: "These initial lines, with their austere word choice, are uncompromising in their analysis of woman's place in society."
Winter: My Secret: "an intriguing poem about what is not said, where the speaker skilfully withholds power and control. The game is hers and she will only 'tell' when and if she chooses."
"Rossetti was not diverted from her self-repressive religious mode long enough to produce more than a handful of poems free from the thematic 'transparency' and doctrinal limitations."
R. M. Kachur
"The tension between Rossetti's High Church Anglican orthodoxy and feminist sensibilities continues to lie at the heart of critical questions being posed about her corpus."
"Much of Rossetti's poetry - both 'devotional' and 'secular' - arises from her conception of nature and the human self as entities which are forever poised between self-assertion and self-destruction."
"Her natural imagery often suggests the complexities of the human self - the hope, love and creative energy that must be both expressed and repressed, that offer us meaningfulness but deny us fulfilment."
"For Rossetti's women the mask/veil is often a form of protection which enables the woman to observe without herself being seen, to maintain some degree of inner personal integrity."
"The wearing of a mask becomes vital, preventing the revelation of the unconforming living woman underneath - in short, the unacceptable."
She "was an almost constant and often a sadly-smitten invalid"
"In innate character she was vivacious, and open to pleasurable impressions [...] What came to pass was of course quite the contrary."