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English 2323-Second Start

24 Oct

English 2323-Second Start

Reading Response 5: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Christina Rossetti,

Gerard Manley Hopkins

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1471)

Poems from The House of Life (Respond to two poems.)
“The Sonnet” (1487)
“Nuptial Sleep” (1487)
“Silent Noon” (1488)
“Soul’s Beauty” (1488)
“Body’s Beauty” (1488)
Christina Rossetti (1489)
Respond to two short poems

My favorites:
“Song” (“When I am dead, my dearest”) (1490)
“After Death” (1491)
“Dead before Death” (1491)
“Cobwebs” (1492)
“A Triad” (1492)
“In an Artist’s Studio” (1493)
“A Birthday” (1493)
(Note: Do not respond to “Goblin Market.”)
Gerard Manley Hopkins (1546)
Respond to two poems

Suggestions:
“God’s Grandeur” (1548)
“Spring” (1550)
“Pied Beauty” (1551)
“Binsey Poplars” (1152)
“Spring and Fall: to a young child” (1553)
“Carrion Comfort” (1554)
“Thou art indeed just, Lord” (1556-57)

 


All three of the Rossettis were involved with Pre-Raphaelitism, though Christina wasn’t an official member of the “brotherhood.” Here are a few excerpts from the introduction to the movement on the Victorian Web (
http://www.victorianweb.org/victorian/painting/prb/1.html):

The term Pre-Raphaelite, which refers to both art and literature, is confusing because there were essentially two different and almost opposed movements, the second of which grew out of the first. The term itself originated in relation to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, an influential group of mid-nineteenth-century avantegarde painters associated with Ruskin who had great effect upon British, American, and European art. Those poets who had some connection with these artists and whose work presumably shares the characteristics of their art include Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Christina Rossetti, George Meredith, William Morris, and Algernon Charles Swinburne.


Here are their principles:

  1. Testing and defying all conventions of art; for example, if the Royal Academy schools taught art students to compose paintings with (a) pyramidal groupings of figures, (b) one major source of light at one side matched by a lesser one on the opposite, and (c) an emphasis on rich shadow and tone at the expense of color, the PRB with brilliant perversity painted bright-colored, evenly lit pictures that appeared almost flat.
  2. The PRB also emphasized precise, almost photographic representation of even humble objects, particularly those in the immediate foreground (which were traditionally left blurred or in shade) –thus violating conventional views of both proper style and subject.
  3. Following Ruskin, they attempted to transform the resultant hard-edge realism (created by 1 and 2) by combining it with typological symbolism. At their most successful, the PRB produced a magic or symbolic realism, often using devices found in the poetry of Tennyson and Browning.
  4. Believing that the arts were closely allied, the PRB encouraged artists and writers to practice each other’s art, though only D.G. Rossetti did so with particular success.
  5. Looking for new subjects, they drew upon Shakespeare, Keats, and Tennyson.

If you go to the Victorian Web, you will find many links that will help you in your understanding of this important literary and artistic movement. You will also find many wonderful images of the paintings.

I also found the discussion on the website of the Metropolitan Museum of Art very useful, though it emphasizes their paintings more than their poetry.  http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/praf/hd_praf.htm

If you read and comment on these sources, I will give you extra credit. If you are taking art classes, you probably already know about the work of these artists and poets and may wish to include your knowledge in your response.

 

You will find several images in your textbook on pp. C-1 through C-8 in Volume E (just after p. 1500). If you have the longer Volume 2, you will see the Victorian paintings on C-9 through C-15 (8th edition). The images from all three periods appear just after p. 1488. You will receive extra credit if you view these and write a response to them.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)

Textbook introduction, pp. 1471-72.

I’m including a few excerpts from the Poetry Foundation biography.

As a child Dante Gabriel Rossetti intended to be a painter and illustrated literary subjects in his earliest drawings. He was tutored at home in German and read the Bible, Shakespeare, Goethe’s Faust, The Arabian Nights, Dickens, and the poetry of Sir Walter Scott and Lord Byron. After leaving school, he apprenticed himself to the historical painter Ford Madox Brown, who later became his closest lifelong friend. He also continued his extensive reading of poetry—Poe, Shelley, Coleridge, Blake, Keats, Browning, and Tennyson—and began in 1845 translations from Italian and German medieval poetry. ….

Rossetti divided his attention between painting and poetry for the rest of his life. In 1848 he founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood with six other young men, mostly painters, who shared an interest in contemporary poetry and an opposition to certain stale conventions of contemporary academy art. In a general way, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood sought to introduce new forms of thematic seriousness, high coloration, and attention to detail into contemporary British art. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/dante-gabriel-rossetti

If you search the web for information about Dante Gabriel Rossetti, you will find much more about him as an artist than as a poet; however, his art and his poetry are linked by these ideas.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1471)

Poems from The House of Life (Respond to at least two poems–at least 200 words.)

“The Sonnet” (1487)
“Nuptial Sleep” (1487)
“Silent Noon” (1488)
“Soul’s Beauty” (1488)
“Body’s Beauty” (1488)
(Note: The last two poems relate to two of Rossetti’s paintings [in the textbook]. You may also read about them on various websites. I found the one in Wikipedia to be very useful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Lilith)

Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

Textbook introduction, pp. 1489-90
The following is an excerpt from the Poetry Foundation website:

Of all Victorian women poets, posterity has been kindest to Christina Rossetti. Her poetry has never disappeared from view, and her reputation, though it suffered a decline in the first half of the twentieth century, has always been preserved to some degree. Critical interest in Rossetti’s poetry swelled in the final decades of the twentieth century, a resurgence largely impelled by the emergence of feminist criticism; much of this commentary focuses on gender issues in her poetry and on Rossetti as a woman poet. In Rossetti’s lifetime opinion was divided over whether she or Elizabeth Barrett Browning was the greatest female poet of the era; in any case, after Browning’s death in 1861 readers and critics saw Rossetti as the older poet’s rightful successor.  http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/christina-rossetti

 

Many of Rossetti’s poems are about unrequited love, a universal topic. If you read more of this biography, you will read of her conflicts regarding love and marriage and of her amazing literary accomplishments.

Christina Rossetti (1489)
Respond to two short poems. (You should write at least 200 words.)


My favorites:
“Song” (“When I am dead, my dearest”) (1490)
“After Death” (1491)
“Dead before Death” (1491)
“Cobwebs” (1492)
“A Triad” (1492)
“In an Artist’s Studio” (1493)
“A Birthday” (1493)
(Note: Do not respond to “Goblin Market.”)

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

(Textbook introduction, pp. 1546-48)

I was introduced to Hopkins’ poetry when I was a freshman in college; I still find it wonderful to read. I must admit that I didn’t realize that his work wasn’t published and read until the early 20th century, during the Modernist movement. The introduction in the textbook will be very useful. It describes his concept called inscape–the “distinctive design that constitutes individual identity” (1547). Hopkins converted to Roman Catholicism in 1866 and became a Jesuit priest. (You will find a discussion of inscape on Wikipedia if it interests you.)

I’m including excerpts here from the Poetry Foundation website.

Gerard Manley Hopkins is one of the three or four greatest poets of the Victorian era. He is regarded by different readers as the greatest Victorian poet of religion, of nature, or of melancholy. However, because his style was so radically different from that of his contemporaries, his best poems were not accepted for publication during his lifetime, and his achievement was not fully recognized until after World War I. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/gerard-manley-hopkins

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1546)
Respond to at least two poems (at least 200 words):

Suggestions:
“God’s Grandeur” (1548)
“Spring” (1550)
“Pied Beauty” (1551)
“Binsey Poplars” (1152)
“Spring and Fall: to a young child” (1553)
“Carrion Comfort” (1554) (This is one of his “terrible” sonnets–poems of despair.)
“Thou art indeed just, Lord” (1556-57)

 

I’m including the questions for responding to poetry here.

Here are the questions for a personal response to the poetry:

  • What did you like about the poem? Why?
  • What didn’t you like?
  • Do you relate to the poem personally? In what way?
  • What are your favorite lines?  (This is in addition to lines that you quote for support.)
  • What did you learn from the poem? (This could be something factual or historical, or it could be something you learned about life in general.)
  • Would you read this poem to a friend? Why?
  • How does the poem reflect the poet’s philosophical beliefs?
  • How does the poem relate to the poet’s life?
  • What words did you look up as you were reading the poem? Be sure to include definitions.

If you prefer to analyze a poem rather than responding personally, these questions will guide you. You may, of course, wish to both analyze a poem and respond personally. All reading responses should reflect your views.
*Questions 1-10 come directly from Writing Essays about Literature (6th edition) by Kelley Griffith (Harcourt 2002). You do not need to answer all of the questions. (You must be sure to include quotations from the poem and to use “I” to let me know what you think about the poem.)

1. Who is speaking?
2. What characterizes the speaker? (What kind of person is the speaker?)
3. To whom is he or she speaking?
4. What is the speaker’s tone?
5. What is his or her emotional state?
6. Why is he or she speaking?
7. What situation is being described?
8. What are the conflicts or tensions in this situation?
9. How is setting–social situation, physical place, and time–important to the speaker?
10. What ideas is the speaker communicating?
11. What figures of speech does the poet use?
12. How does the poet use rhyme and rhythm?
13. What allusions does the poet use? How do these affect your understanding of the poem?

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2017 in Academic Writing

 

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