Please analyze Christina Rosetti's poem "Song"

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood made four declarations, two of which are as follows:

  1. to have genuine ideas
  2. to sympathize with what is direct and serious and heartfelt

Christina Rossetti's "Song" fulfills these two declarations as with simple diction the speaker declares in a "spirit of self-postponement" thoughts that, as Virginia Woolf phrased it, "sing like music in one's ears." Her poem "sings" of Death that may hold court over her. Rossetti's simple, clear diction and alliteration move the lines quickly as an occasional alternating rhyme is evinced in the last three lines of both stanzas; many lines are in iambic trimeter, the rhythm of speech.

In this poem there is an acceptance of death,

When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me:...
And if thou wilt remember,
And if thou wilt forget.

even a self-renunciation:

I shall not see the shadows
I shall not feel the rain
I shall not hear the nightingale...

 Yet, there is something of freedom:

Haply I may remember
And haply I may forget.

Death as resolution is welcomed. True to the pre-Ralphaelite Brotherhood, this poem expresses genuine ideas that are essentially spiritual in nature.

michaelsellars784 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hi Christina,

Remember, you need to do the "analysis."  To analyze means to "break into parts and show how the parts relate to the whole. "

A poem can be broken into parts also.  For example, you might want to look at the (1) Beginning or Introduction; (2) The Point of View; and the (3) The Conclusion.  This is much like the analysis of an essay.

Another simple approach is
1. Theme (the big idea)
2. Variations of the theme (various things speaker says about the theme)

Also most poetry can be analyzed by its imagery, rhyme scheme, or form.

There's more than one way to skin a cat.