Monday, 27 April 2009

Christina Rossetti

The Church of England remembers Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) in its calendar today. I always take part in Morning Prayer at work on a Monday morning. I seem to be noticing poets rather a lot at the moment, I am presuming it is like when I was pregnant and you suddenly notice lots of pregnant women! As this poet is being recognised by the Church of England today and as it is still just National Poetry month I thought I would look into her some more. I was at first a little surprised at how melancholy most of her poems are, though when you then look at the fact that she spent a lot of time helping those who had nothing, maybe this isn't too surprising. This is one which particularly struck me, though quite sombre, there is a quiet hope and faith which I can see bursting through. Thank you Christina Rossetti.

A Better Resurrection.

I have no wit, no words, no tears;
My heart within me like a stone
Is numb’d too much for hopes or fears;
Look right, look left, I dwell alone;
I lift mine eyes, but dimm’d with grief
No everlasting hills I see;
My life is in the falling leaf:
O Jesus, quicken me.
My life is like a faded leaf,
My harvest dwindled to a husk:
Truly my life is void and brief
And tedious in the barren dusk;
My life is like a frozen thing,
No bud nor greenness can I see:
Yet rise it shall–the sap of Spring;
O Jesus, rise in me.
My life is like a broken bowl,
A broken bowl that cannot hold
One drop of water for my soul
Or cordial in the searching cold;
Cast in the fire the perish’d thing;
Melt and remould it, till it be
A royal cup for Him, my King:
O Jesus, drink of me.


  1. This is beautiful! I always thought of Christina Rossetti as rather twee, but not so!

  2. That's a beautiful poem! Thanks for sharing. Had not heard of the lady before.

  3. I have to confess I hadn't either Matt, though I do know her famous carol "In the Bleak Mid-Winter".

  4. Beautiful poem -- I love Rossetti's poetry and her brother's artwork.

    I'm very happy that National Poetry Month here in the States has been so ... inspiring. ;)