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At Home. Christina Rossetti. SHOCK… Opening line shocks the reader as it states her decease – caesura after dead echoes the point. Internal Rhyme puts emphasis on the fact that she is looking in rather than being part of the feast.

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at home

At Home

Christina Rossetti


SHOCK…Opening line shocks the reader as it states her decease – caesura after dead echoes the point.

Internal Rhyme puts emphasis on the fact that she is looking in rather than being part of the feast

Assonance puts emphasis on the occasion and leads us into a puzzling description of the setting.

When I was dead, my spirit turned

To seek the much frequented house;

I passed the door, and sawmy friends

Feasting beneath green orange boughs;

From hand to hand they pushed the wine,

They sucked the pulp of plum and peach,

They sang, they jested and they laughed.

For each was loved of each

The use of plosives after the harsh sounding ‘sucking’, promotes a jealous from the speaker as if she is self-righteously dismissing herself from them.

Repetition of ‘each’ highlights the fact they all have equal love for one other – ultimately suggesting that when she was around she ruined this perfect unity.

MY, I are personal pronouns which feature in the first few lines whereas the second person pronoun, They is used in the last few lines of the first stanza. This shows the separation between her and the others in her family – possibly suggesting that she was a misfit when she was alive.


Repetition of plod and miles demonstrates the monotony of existence on earth and goes onto to suggest the future is more important than the past – even though this is contradicted by her whole poem that is living in the past!?!?

I listened to their honest chat:

Said one: ‘Tomorrow we shall be

Plod Plod along the featureless sands

And coasting miles and miles of sea.’

Said one: ‘Before the turn of tide

We will achieve the eyrie-seat.’

Said one: ‘Tomorrow shall be like

Today, but much more sweet.

No name fails to familiarise herself to the people showing us that she see’s them as characters rather than family.

Rhyming couplet echoing her own ambitions that tomorrow will be better today – that away from home will be better than at home.

Repetition of Tomorrow also supports the idea that tomorrow is the priority and the speaker cares not for the people she has left behind.


The repetition of Tomorrow combined with the ‘no-one spoke of yesterday’ shows us that the speaker may be becoming scornful – she may feel insulted by the fact that her absence isn’t being thoroughly recognised.

"Tomorrow," said they, strong with hope, And dwelt upon the pleasant way;"Tomorrow," cried they, one and all, While no one spoke of yesterday.Their life stood full at blessed noon; I, only I, had passed away: "Tomorrow and today," they cried;I was of yesterday.

The notion that her death hasn’t come as a huge devastation is also echoed through the use of enjambment. They cried/ I was of yesterday., highlights the fact that bereavement wasn’t an issue for her family and that they got it over her death smoothly – insinuating that again she was not a big loss!

The speaker here through the repetition of I and the inclusion of ‘only’ – shows that she feels victimised and that her death isn’t an important one in the eyes of her family.


The name ‘At Home’ becomes almost ironic by the end of poem. I feel ‘Gone from home’ would be far more appropriate as she constantly alludes to her absence rather than being at home!!!!

Straight away defines herself as immaterial.

I shivered comfortless, but castNo chill across the table-cloth; I, all-forgotten, shivered, sadTo stay, and yet to part how loth: I passed from the familiar room, I who from love had passed away,Like the remembrance of a guestThat tarrieth but a day.

Both of these suggest that she has lost the love of her friends and by passing away has submitted to that fact and is moving on!

These two last lines show how she is a mere memory – all but forgotten, which ends the poem very nicely as she has succumbed to the realism that she wasn’t an appreciate member of her famlily or friendship group.