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Explicate the poem, "Remember" by Christina Rossetti.

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shasha1007 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 26, 2012 at 12:22 AM via web

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Explicate the poem, "Remember" by Christina Rossetti.

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carol-davis | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:42 PM (Answer #1)

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Remember” is a sonnet written by Christina Rossetti. Christina suffered from ill health throughout out her life and so it is not surprising that she should explore the theme of death. As a Christian, Rossetti believed in the afterlife and so this poem is poignant with a sense of hope that death is not the end.

In the first line, which is the theme of the poem the narrator asks to be remembered. Christina Rossetti wrote the melancholy sonnet “Remember” while she was sick.  She decides that she needs to explore death. 

The point of view in the poem is first person with the poet as the speaker. The narrator believes in the afterlife and hopes that death is not the end of life

The form of the poem is a sonnet.  The poem has fourteen lines divided into three quatrains and a couplet at the end. The rhyme scheme does not follow the usual pattern for a sonnet: ABBAABBACDEEFC. 

In the first line of the poem, the poet begs the reader not to forget her.  She wants to be in the memories of the person to whom she is writing. In the next lines, the reader learns that the poet is dying because she is going to the silent land which would be the grave.

Remember me when I am gone away,

Gone far away into the silent land;

When you can no more hold me by the hand,

Remember me…

The poet will miss the physical contact with the lover.  Although she feels that the separation from the other through death is not the end of the relationship.  They will always be connected.   The two had planned a future together. Hopefully, he will remember her as he thinks of those plans.

As time goes on, the man may forget to think about her. She understands.  The grieving process takes care of the terrible hurt that one experiences when dies.  The poet’s advice is not to grieve. After time passes, she hopes that he will remember her and smile while in the memories.  This is much better than when he is sad and grief-stricken. 

Rossetti’s poem intends to comfort someone whose lover has euphemistically passed away. The primary lesson comes at the end of the poem. She believes that the despite their ups and downs, he will remember her kindly and smile.

 

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