Wednesday, June 10, 2009

for christina rossetti (4)

for christina rossetti
"we must not look at goblin men,
we must not buy their fruits:
who knows upon what soil they fed..."
from ‘the goblin market’
slightly touched by madness eerily
early, stretched out taut by torrid
tensions native to an artistic family,

u lived, ironically, with grave’s disease,
& under death’s shroud, to sweetly rave,
& quietly storm with low bending trees,

against feckless, faithless goblin men
who’d pity & love u more after u die,
who’d proffer plump prurient fruit in

goblin markets, like luscious cherries with
freeborn cranberries, down-cheeked
peaches & other pregnant emblems of pith --

the choicest & most vital parts of yr
longing. u tore yrself in twain, spoke
with cloven, conflicting tongues for

the fair fruit globes of sweet desire;
for the golden locks & tears u paid for
these delights; against the raging fire

that charmed u or the tempting gifts
that harmed u, bade u suck yr twin
soul’s lips white, like dover’s cliffs,

to clean away the stains, the lurid signs
of love’s urgent & unspeakable yearnings.
in short, simple, irregularly rhymed lines.

© Joseph McNair;2009


  1. Another great poet who was admired after her death, great talent, poor health, unhappy life. what a shame.Great poem.

  2. tragedy and poetry they go hand in hand, i know that i said that before but in poetry it seems to be the norm.