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  1. Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) was born into a family of poets and artists. They were also devoutly Christian. This fact led to the failure of two of her relationships due to religious differences. She published a large number of ballads, sonnets and religious poems in her life, many of which dealt with the theme of frustrated love and loss. Plagued with ill-health throughout her life, she eventually died of cancer. Want to know more? CLICK HERE (this is an external link).

  2. The Pre-Raphaelites A brotherhood of artists founded in 1848, a year in which revolutions were taking place all over Europe. In a world that was changing dramatically through industrialisation and rapidly growing cities (the 1851 census showed that, for the first time, more people lived in towns than the country), the Pre-Raphaelites wanted to re-examine and challenge accepted ideas and create art that was fresh and original. To read more about the Pre-Raphaelites, click here (external link) To see some of the art, go to the TATE (another external link)

  3. Remember me when I am gone away, Gone far away into the silent land; When you can no more hold me by the hand, Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay. Remember me when no more day by day You tell me of our future that you plann'd: Only remember me; you understand It will be late to counsel then or pray. Yet if you should forget me for a while And afterwards remember, do not grieve: For if the darkness and corruption leave A vestige of the thoughts that once I had, Better by far you should forget and smile Than that you should remember and be sad.

  4. What effect does this word have on the reader? Remember me when I am gone away, Why start the poem with a command? Who is she talking to?

  5. Why does she useeuphemismsinstead of talking openlyabout death? A word or phrase used to avoid saying an unpleasant or offensive word. Gone far away into the silent land; Gone far away into the silent land; Why does it have to be ‘far away’? What feeling is being created? Why does she describe it as silent?

  6. When you can no more hold me by the hand, hold me by the hand holdmeby the hand When you can no more  When you can no more  What feeling does this image create? What effect do the use of the two personal pronouns have? How does the negative phrase work with the rest of the line?

  7. Again, the stress is on leaving and death. NorI half turn to go, yet turning stay. NorI half turn to go, yet turning stay. NorI half turn to go, yet turning stay. Why only ‘half turn’? Does she want to leave? How does the punctuation add to the line?

  8. Remember me when no more day by day You tell me of our future that you plann'd: Only remember me; you understand It will be late to counsel then or pray. A group of four lines in a poem is a quatrain. Look at their rhyme scheme. Remember me day by day Remember me when no more when no more day by day How does the end of this line underline the relationship that has been lost? Another command. This starts off the second set of four lines. How are they different?

  9. This is called an iambic pentameter. It crates a regular rhythm which can then be broken for effect. Look at how the break in rhythm is used in the next line. Notice the contracted word to ensure that the line maintains the regular 10 syllable rhythm. For more detail click here (external link) You tell me of our future that you plann'd: How are personal pronouns used in this line?

  10. The second half of the sentence makes the theme of death and loss clear. ; Only remember me Only remember me; you understand It will be late to counsel then or pray. you understand The semi-colon provides a break in the regular rhythm and highlights the repeated request to ‘remember me’.

  11. What effect does the internal rhyme have? Yet if you should forget me for a while Yet if you should forget me for a while Yet if you should forget me for a while And afterwards remember, do not grieve: How does the tone of the poem change here? Rossetti moves onto the second half of the poem. Rather than just repeat the instruction to ‘remember’, she acknowledges that life will continue without her.

  12. How many commands are there in the poem? Why do you think this is the case? And afterwards remember, do not grieve: The command is made all the clearer by the punctuation.

  13. For if the darkness and corruption leave A vestige of the thoughts that once I had, A small remaining part of something that was far larger. What view of death do these words provide? The poet hopes that death will not remove all thoughts of her but that her partner will still remember a small proportion of the life they had together.

  14. Better by far you should forget and smile Than that you should remember and be sad. Better by far you should forget and smile The two contrasting phrases are put together in pairs which might, at first, seem odd. Why would the poet prefer that her partner forgot all about her? Another command phrase. But this time it is softened by not being at the start of a line. Why has the poet done this?

  15. Better by far you should forget and smile Than that you should remember and be sad. How do these two contrasting images sum up the meaning of the poem?