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Old 01-25-2019, 04:40 PM   #16
stuartjmz
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Originally Posted by sun surfer View Post
Thanks for that background info; it definitely gives the poem context. While the poem does read like a sort of fairy tale, I just can't imagine this would've passed muster as 'for children'.

It's interesting that you interpreted something of a lesbian relationship between the women. I didn't get that but it's something to think on. You did however with your comment bring to mind Carmilla, written close to the same time, which has very strong lesbian overtones.
I read the Delphi Complete Works, and there's another, shorter, poem in there which I found impossible to read any other way. I am trying to find it now, but she talks about a woman and says that she dare not tell her how she feels. I should have bookmarked it, because now I can't seem to find it, and searching for "love" and "dare" in my e-reader brings up 50 gazillion references to the love of Christ. Which may have been a sublimation for her, who knows?

My review
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Old 01-27-2019, 08:34 PM   #17
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I spent the afternoon relaxing in the sun in my garden and listening to audio recordings and reading various poems. It was a wonderful way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon!

Goblin Market is certainly not for children with its erotic imagery. Even as a literal interpretation of sisterly love and how one sister saves the other from temptations, some passages would still be awkward. I read that originally she told her publisher that it is was not written for children and then she changed her tune.

It’s interesting how many interpretations one could make for this poem, which I suppose is why it is still studied today. The “market” in the title has various meanings. Some believe it refers to capitalistic merchant economies, and others believe it refers to the Victorian marriage market of men and women scheming to marry rich and move up in society. I read another critic that thought it was anti-Semitic. Still others think it might be about drug addiction, especially since she suffered from mental health issues and her sister-in-law died of a laudanum overdose. There are the religious interpretations as fantasy fan mentioned, as well as the feminist interpretation in light of Victorian social mores.

Here is one point that I found particularly interesting. As you read her poems, there is much more death than I expected. Even poems that start out happy, hopeful and lively turn dry, chilly or dead. It is interesting that she did not have Laura in the poem die or fulfill the role of the stereotypical “fallen” woman. Instead, after temptation she is redeemed through her sister and lives to experience marriage and children. Also Laura (the one who was tempted) is the one who delivers the moral at the end of the poem rather than the purer Lizzie.
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Old 01-27-2019, 08:43 PM   #18
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I read another critic that thought it was anti-Semitic.
I saw a mention of this on the Wikipedia page (iirc), but found no evidence for the critic's assertion in the text. Even in another poem called "Christian And Jew: A Dialogue" there was no anti-semitism that I saw.

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As you read her poems, there is much more death than I expected.
Yep, this was what really struck me. I'm a poetry rookie, but this theme was so prominent even I couldn't miss it, commenting on it in my GR review and in the what are we reading?" thread here.
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Old 01-27-2019, 08:44 PM   #19
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I made this post separate because my comments are about the person rather than about the poetry. I thought Christina’s life was fascinating. Wikipedia has a detailed biographical summary. She was the daughter of a poet and political exile from Italy. In other words she was exposed to intellectual stimulation and debate. She left school at 14 after a nervous breakdown and then became heavily devoted with her mother to the Anglo-Catholic Church. She also turned down marriage proposals. Her other siblings were also writers, and she modeled for her brother’s paintings.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christina_Rossetti

I also found it interesting how many cultural references there are to Goblin Market. Check out the very long list on the Wikipedia entry specific to the poem. Here is a fun and surprising tidbit that I discovered in my research. Even J.K. Rowling was influenced by Rossetti in her Cormoran Strike series.
http://www.mugglenet.com/2017/09/lit...ssettis-dirge/
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Old 01-30-2019, 01:16 AM   #20
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I've not yet begun to read this poem, so I cannot follow your interpretations. Let me read it first and give my own interpretation.
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Old 01-30-2019, 01:31 AM   #21
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It doesn’t take long to read. I look forward to your thoughts, Spinnenmonat.
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Old 02-03-2019, 03:50 PM   #22
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It is certainly a poem with a great deal of frustration, repression, and darkness. The religious transcendence is matched by the brute physicality of desire. This dichotomy is found in many of her other poems. Try “Up-Hill” which turns a series of Victorian “comfort” images on their heads. It is a powerful poem which could have been written by an atheist.

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