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A Daughter Of Eve Analysis



Author: Poetry of Christina Rossetti Type: Poetry Views: 880

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Poems1890A fool I was to sleep at noon,

And wake when night is chilly

Beneath the comfortless cold moon;

A fool to pluck my rose too soon,

A fool to snap my lily.My garden-plot I have not kept;

Faded and all-forsaken,

I weep as I have never wept:

Oh it was summer when I slept,

It's winter now I waken.Talk what you please of future spring

And sun-warm'd sweet to-morrow:--

Stripp'd bare of hope and everything,

No more to laugh, no more to sing,

I sit alone with sorrow.






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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: Analysis: A Daughter of E :.

In “A Daughter of Eve,” Christina Rossetti describes life, or possibly just an aspect of life, where she missed good times. She shows regret by referring to herself throughout the first stanza as a “fool.” In the first lines, she says that she fell asleep at noon and woke “when the night [was] chilly.” “Noon” is usually when the day is it’s warmest, brightest, and happiest, while the chilly night is very negative, especially when she describes the “comfortless cold moon.” Again in lines 9 and 10, she repeats herself, but instead of using the times of day, she uses the seasons summer and winter.
Rossetti is likely referring to a specific event or period of time in her life that she missed, was separated from, or an action she regrets committing. For example, she says, “A fool to pluck my rose to soon, A fool to snap my lily.” In the entire last stanza she talks about not being able to talk or think about the “sun-warm’d sweet to-morrow.” She is “stripp’d bare of hope and everything, no more to laugh, no more to sing.”
Within a straightforward “ABAAB” rhyme scheme, Rossetti expresses her regret using monosyllabic diction and very simple, direct sentence structure. When people become upset they begin to use this more basic syntax and in doing this, she effectively conveys her stress and sorrow. By writing the poem in first person and using more colloquial language, she makes it very personal and lucid. She allows the work to be open to interpretation with her ambiguous use of metaphor. By simply reading the poem, the meaning of words such as “rose”, “lily”, and “garden-plot” cannot be clearly defined. These metaphors can mean anything to any reader, making it particularly relatable.
As in much of her work, Rossetti follows an exceptionally strict structure. She follows a constant rhyme scheme throughout, putting emphasis on certain words giving them a sharper meaning, such as chilly and lily, wept and slept, and forsaken and waken.
In the first stanza she stresses the word “fool” by repeating it three times and uses a balanced structure in line fourteen emphasizing the phrase, “No more to laugh, no more to sing.” Throughout most of the work she follows a dactylic pattern, simply highlighting the important words and phrases.
The words Rossetti chooses paint clear images of her thoughts and emotions. The past, when she “fell asleep” at noon or in the summer, is described nostalgically. She also expresses a longing for the future by giving “tomorrow” the adjectives “sun-warm’d” and “sweet.” However, the rest of her imagery is much more negative. She discusses the scene she wakes up to multiple times and each time she gives it a different, but still very bleak, metaphor. Her first metaphor, found in lines two and three, compares her current state to a chilly night “beneath the comfortless cold moon.” Then in lines six and seven, she calls it her “garden-plot” that, being neglected during her slumber, has now faded and become “all-forsaken.” Her constant use of simple and direct, sorrowful phrasing, illustrates her bitter tone of regret.

| Posted on 2005-02-01 | by Approved Guest




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