Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April Showers Bring... Death?

This week's poem spotlight is on Christina Rossetti, one of my favorite poets, whom I discovered in my British Literature class in college. Rossetti was born in London on December 5th, 1830 to a father who as an Italian in exile. She was a Christian highly influenced by the Oxford Movement. One of her most famous poems is Goblin Market, which I highly recommend, but which I haven't put on here because it's much too long.

I have chosen another of her poems, which is perfect for this season of flowers, rain, and yes, death.

Sweet Death
By Christina Rossetti

The sweetest blossoms die. 
And so it was that, going day by day
unto the church to praise and pray, 
and crossing the green churchyard thoughtfully, 
I saw how on the graves the flowers
shed their fresh leaves in showers, 
and how their perfume rose up to the sky
before it passed away. 

The youngest blossoms die. 
They die and fall and nourish the rich earth 
from which they lately had their birth; 
sweet life, but sweeter death that passeth by
and is as though it had not been:-
all colours turn to green; 
the bright hues vanish and the odours fly,
the grass hath lasting worth. 

And youth and beauty die. 
So be it, O my God, Thou God of truth: 
better than beauty and than truth 
are Saints and Angels, a glad company;
and thou, O Lord, our Rest and Ease, 
art better than these. 
Why should we shrink from our full harvest? Why 
prefer to glean with Ruth? 

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