Rossetti’s Winter: My Secret (Poetry analysis)

Winter: My Secret is part of the Rossetti collection studied for A-Level with OCR, so I taught it earlier this week. It’s a gorgeous poem that really rewards further detailed reading. On a first read through, it’s fairly straightforward – a woman who has a secret but refuses to tell it. But looking more closely, the playful, teasing tone starts to suggest that there is something more – what could the secret be? Is there a secret at all? Although there’s plenty of options for interpretation, tome it speaks of a woman trying to hold onto something of her mystery …

Poetry Friday: In an Artist’s Studio (Christina Rossetti)

Christina Rossetti’s poem about her brother – and more importantly, his muse Lizzie Siddal. I came across it a couple of years ago when the BBC series about the Pre-Raphaelite movement was on, and I was looking for love poetry for one of my sixth form lessons. This poem is certainly about love, but it’s a very unbalanced, dangerous love that is being reflected. Rossetti isn’t openly critical of her brother’s attitude towards his lover – more, she seems to understand it yet pity the muse who is impossibly stuck in the relationship, unable to change it with a lover …