NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. I have not made note of it only because I'm not much of a poetry person. Not that I don't want to be. It's just not a skill I have spent any amount of time honing, and therefore a lot of poetry's end is greeted by me with a blank stare. I aim to change that eventually. In fact, I have recently purchased How to Read a Poem: And Fall in Love with Poetry by Edward Hirsch. If I'd have been more on top of things, I would have planned to read it this month in honor of National Poetry Month. I'm quick on the uptake, aren't I? :-)

Anyway, being mostly ignorant when it comes to poetry does not necessarily mean I have no appreciation for it at all, so I would like to share with you a gorgeous poem that I really do love by Christina Rossetti:


by: Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

WHEN I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain;
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.

("Song" is reprinted from Goblin Market and other Poems. Christina Rosetti. Cambridge: Macmillan, 1862.)

I adore that poem. I was reminded of it as I sat by my Great Aunt Cathy's bedside in the hospital. She was in her final hours and, of course, I was crying. She had very little strength left, but she took my hand and said very quietly, "Don't cry for me, Lezlie. I know where I'm going." And she smiled. And so did I. If she was good with it, so was I. And that's how I want it to be for me when it's my time. Don't cry for me. Smile and be happy for the time we had, remember if it makes you feel good, and go on with your life, because that's what I'll be doing. In a manner of speaking. :-)

That's what that poem means to me.

Read other Christina Rossetti poems and learn more about her here.

And here are some books of her poetry if you fall in love with her as much as I did:


Andi said...

I haven't read much Rossetti, but that really is a strikingly beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing it, and your story. :)

Anonymous said...

I like it :) The idea of being happy for what you had instead of sad because it's ending really appeals to me. Easier said than done, unfortunately!

I'm not much of a poetry person either but I had to write an essay on Goblin Market a couple of years ago and really liked it 'cos left me with some pretty vivid mental images.

Lezlie said...

Andi ~ I have The Complete Poems of Christina Rossetti, and every once in a while I just randomly open it up to a shorter poem and read it. I'm never disappointed. Someday I'll make a real study of her work. . .

Jennifer ~ It is very, very hard. I was just looking at Goblin Market the other day thinking I should make time to read it. (I've only picked at her shorter works so far.) Since you like it so well, maybe I'll do that this weekend!