The Complete Poems (Penguin Classics)

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9780140423662: The Complete Poems (Penguin Classics)

A captivating collection of enduring verse by one of the Victorian era's most beloved poets

Rossetti is unique among Victorian poets for the sheer range of her subject matter and the variety of her verse form. This collection brings together fantasy poems, such as Goblin Market, and terrifyingly vivid verses for children, love lyrics and sonnets, and the vast body of her devotional poetry. Rossetti's poems weave connections between love and death, triumph and loss, heavenly joys and earthly pleasures. The directness and clarity of her lyrics still have the power to startle us with their truth and beauty.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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About the Author:

Christina Rossetti (1830-1894), sister of the poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti, was educated at home and shared her family's intellectual interests. Ill-health ended her work as a governess and later made her an invalid. Her poetry was first published in 1850 in the Pre-Raphaelite magazine, The Germ, and several volumes of poetry followed, demonstrating an extraordinary emotional and technical range.

Betty Sue Flowers is Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

My Dream

Hear now a curious dream I dreamed last night,
Each word whereof is weighed and sifted truth.

I stood beside Euphrates while it swelled
Like overflowing Jordan in its youth:
It waxed and coloured sensibly to sight,
Till out of myriad pregnant waves there welled
Young crocodiles, a gaunt blunt-featured crew,
Fresh-hatched perhaps and daubed with birthday dew.
The rest if I should tell, I fear my friend,
My closest friend would deem the facts untrue;
And therefore it were wisely left untold;
Yet if you will, why, hear it to the end.

Each crocodile was girt with massive gold
And polished stones that with their wearers grew:
But one there was who waxed beyond the rest,
Wore kinglier girdle and a kingly crown,
Whilst crowns and orbs and sceptres starred his breast.
All gleamed compact and green with scale on scale,
But special burnishment adorned his mail
And special terror weighed upon his frown;
His punier brethren quaked before his tail,
Broad as a rafter, potent as a flail.
So he grew lord and master of his kin:
But who shall tell the tale of all their woes?
An execrable appetite arose,
He battened on them, crunched, and sucked them in.
He knew no law, he feared no binding law,
But ground them with inexorable jaw:
The luscious fat distilled upon his chin,
Exuded from his nostrils and his eyes,
While still like hungry death he fed his maw;
Till every minor crocodile being dead
And buried too, himself gorged to the full,
He slept with breath oppressed and unstrung claw.
Oh marvel passing strange which next I saw:
In sleep he dwindled to the common size,
And all the empire faded from his coat.
Then from far off a winged vessel came,
Swift as a swallow, subtle as a flame:
I know not what it bore of freight or host,
But white it was an avenging ghost.
It levelled strong Euphrates in its course;
Supreme yet weightless as an idle mote
It seemed to tame the waters without force
Till not a murmur swelled or billow beat:
Lo, as the purple shadow swept the sands,
The prudent crocodile rose on his feet
And shed appropriate tears and wrung his hands.

What can it mean? you ask. I answer not
For meaning, but myself must echo, What?
And tell it as I saw it on the spot.

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Rossetti is unique among Victorian poets for the sheer range of her subject matter and the variety of her verse form. This collection brings together fantasy poems, such as Goblin Market, and terrifyingly vivid verses for children, love lyrics and sonnets, and the vast body of her devotional poetry. Rossetti s poems weave connections between love and death, triumph and loss, heavenly joys and earthly pleasures. The directness and clarity of her lyrics still have the power to startle us with their truth and beauty. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780140423662

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Rossetti is unique among Victorian poets for the sheer range of her subject matter and the variety of her verse form. This collection brings together fantasy poems, such as Goblin Market, and terrifyingly vivid verses for children, love lyrics and sonnets, and the vast body of her devotional poetry. Rossetti s poems weave connections between love and death, triumph and loss, heavenly joys and earthly pleasures. The directness and clarity of her lyrics still have the power to startle us with their truth and beauty. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780140423662

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