Poems and prose by Christina Georgina Rossetti; Simon Humphries

By Christina Georgina Rossetti; Simon Humphries

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Yet such a view overlooks the extent to which religion, far from being disabling, is intimate with Rossetti’s imaginative energy, and is the primary source of her intellectual reach and rigour. For Rossetti’s engagement with religious ideas is far from being one of mere restatement of certainties — not least because scripture itself is so often obscure, even contradictory. What, for instance, is the status of the world following the Fall? Was only man corrupted by the transgression in Genesis 3, or was the world itself corrupted?

36 Information on major revisions of poems will be found in the notes to this edition. ’). If it looks brutal, it is an assured brutality which is dictated by what might be described as an aesthetic of inexplicitness. In the case of ‘Two Choices’, her brother’s direction to cut the poem’s last twelve lines was disregarded by Christina, perhaps as being too brutal: in terms of her original conception of the poem, so unkind a cut would have rendered the poem not only inexplicit, but no longer intelligible.

There were also occasional disagreements over which poems were worthy of publication. 37 Christina’s own declared incapacity to ‘turn to politics or philanthropy with Mrs Browning’ (p. 398) suggests that her own sense of her primary impulses was not so very different; but, characteristically, she was somewhat less anxious about this particular influence, less protective of her distinctiveness. In ‘The Lowest Room’, Dante Gabriel found ‘A real taint, to some extent, of modern vicious style derived from the same source — what might be called a falsetto muscularity’.

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