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1. Song: ‘When I am dead, my dearest’
About this Lecture
In this module, we read through Christina Rossetti’s ‘Song’ (‘When I am dead, my dearest’), focusing in particular on: (i) the poem’s fixation on what doesn’t (or shouldn’t) happen, as opposed to what does/should; (ii) the poem’s rhyme scheme, and the impact of rhymes that appear in addition to this scheme; (iii) the concept of death as a respite from the trials and tribulations of life; (iv) the cultural and literary heritage of the nightingale; and (v) the importance of Rossetti’s religious beliefs, particularly in relation to the concept of ‘soul sleep’.
In this course, Professor Tom Mole (University of Edinburgh) explores the poetry of Christina Rossetti, focusing in particular on the fourteen poems listed for study for OCR English Literature A Level (excluding ‘Goblin Market’). A detailed commentary is provided for each of the poems, including comments on historical context, language and style, rhyme and repetition, relationships with other texts – especially the Bible – and much more.
The poems covered in this course are:
1. Song (‘When I am dead, my dearest’)
3. From the Antique
5. Shut Out
6. In the Round Tower at Jhansi
7. A Birthday
8. Winter, My Secret
9. Maude Clare
11. ‘No, Thank You, John’
12. Good Friday
14. Soeur Louise de la Miséricorde
Tom Mole is Reader in English Literature and Director of the Centre for the History of the Book. He has previously held appointments at the University of Glasgow, the University of Bristol and, most recently, as Associate Professor and William Dawson Scholar at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where he was Principal Investigator of the Interacting with Print Research Group.
Mole's interests include literature of the Romantic period in Britain, especially Lord Byron. His monograph, Byron's Romantic Celebrity (Palgrave, 2007), argues that our modern celebrity culture began in the Romantic period, and that Lord Byron should be understood as one of its earliest examples and most astute critics. He edited Romanticism and Celebrity Culture (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and a volume of Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine (Pickering and Chatto, 2006).
Cite this Lecture
Mole, T. (2019, March 29). The Poetry of Christina Rossetti - Song: ‘When I am dead, my dearest’ [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-poetry-of-christina-rossetti-mole/song-when-i-am-dead-my-dearest
Mole, T. "The Poetry of Christina Rossetti – Song: ‘When I am dead, my dearest’." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 29 Mar 2019, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-poetry-of-christina-rossetti-mole/song-when-i-am-dead-my-dearest