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Remember Analysis



Author: Poetry of Christina Rossetti Type: Poetry Views: 2793

Poems1862Remember me when I am gone away,Gone far away into the silent land;When you can no more hold me by the hand,

Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.

Remember me when no more day by dayYou tell me of our future that you plann'd:Only remember me; you understand

It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for a whileAnd afterwards remember, do not grieve:For if the darkness and corruption leaveA vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

Better by far you should forget and smile

Than that you should remember and be sad.






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

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'Remember' by Christina Rossetti is a Petrarchan Sonnet on the theme of Remembrance. Written in 1849, when Rossetti was just 19 years old, this is a sonnet in which Rossetti obsesses about remembrance after death. In it she tells her love how she wants herself to be remembered after her death. But in the last 6 lines, which is also called the sestet, she changes her view and from the selfish way she was speaking in the first 8 lines, also known as the octave, she takes up a selfless approach and states that if her memory causes any pain for him, the he should forget her. In many ways, "Remember" sounds more like something somebody would write after they found out they had terminal cancer, than what they would write at such a young age. But then again by the time she was 18, Rossetti had learned much about the fragility of life. Beginning in 1843, her father was continually sick with either bronchitis, or, possibly, tuberculosis; she herself had a serious mental breakdown sometime in the 1840s. Throw into the mix the relatively high mortality rate in Great Britain due to bad sanitation and other factors around that time, and you start to see why death was a more present reality for a 19 year old 150 years ago than it might be today.

| Posted on 2014-12-13 | by a guest


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It could be said that the penultimate line
\"better you should forget and smile\" is said in irony, rather then its literal meaning of her wishing for his happiness. I think the line is said to lift the burden off of her lover, as \'forgetting and smiling\' seems unrealistically idealistic in the premis of the poem suggesting how he could only ever do the latter; to remember her. She is almost saying it is okay to be sad and to hold her memory by the hand when he can no longer uphold the pretense of being okay. Her lover is aloud to \'remember and be sad\' because it is too much to ask of him to \'forget and smile\'

| Posted on 2013-05-31 | by a guest


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The poem seems to me much more complex than some posts here indicate. As it was written when Rossetti was 19 and she died aged 64, she clearly wasn\'t on her deathbed. We also have no way of knowing if it is autobiographical. The poem seems deliberately ambiguous/ambivalent - look at the line \'You tell me of our future that you plann\'d\'. This is the only time the word \'our\' appears, and it is in a context that signifies the complete powerlessness of the speaker (not necessarily Christina Rossetti, but a dramatic persona). It is the separateness of the addresser and addressee that is foregrounded - \'I/me\' appears 9 times; \'you\' 7 times. The final four lines may be read as bitterness at the time spent together - perhaps in contrast to the earlier \'silent land\'. Rossetti certainly knew enogh scripture to be aware of the maxim that \'silence is golden\', a reading emphasized by the fact that the speaker mentions the fact that there s/he will not have to listen to the speaker \'day by day\' (the repetition suggesting monotony).

| Posted on 2012-02-06 | by a guest


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i think the poem was written when rossetti was dying and is about her telling everyone to remember her but not grieve her. to live their lives and be happy.

| Posted on 2011-03-21 | by a guest


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i think that in this poem says that we have to die one day

| Posted on 2011-01-21 | by a guest


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this poem is my favourit poem.simply poetess telling her lover when she will silent land he remember her but if he will in sorrow it is better to forget her.

| Posted on 2010-10-24 | by a guest


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I think that the use of this poem as a popular funeral poem strongly indicates its message and why Rossetti wrote it. Burdened with bouts of illness, the pious writer had many years to reflect upon her death and the effect it would have on her loved ones. This sonnet selflessly leaves a message of happiness in Rossetti's death and i think that is what makes it great. Her anglican beliefs shine through here also as Rossetti seems to want to follow in Jesus' footsteps, "for if the darkness and corruption leave/better by far you should forget and smile/than that you should remember and be sad."

| Posted on 2010-01-16 | by a guest


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i think this poem shows how Rosetti guides her lover throuh life after she is gone. the beginning shows how she advices him to remember her when she is gone away but then later on in this poem there is a shit of intention that oes along with the shit of rhyme scheme where she realizes remembering her would only bring grief rather than the smile that could be brought if he forgets her.

| Posted on 2009-12-05 | by a guest


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I thought this was a wonderfully written poem that releases those she leaves from guilt about possibly forgetting her as she fades from their minds. However, lines 11, 12, and 13; "For if the darkness and corruption leave/A vestige of the thoughts that once I had/ better by far that you forget..."makes me think that she is saying she was unhappy and tortured in life, and it makes the poem more tragic than cathartic.

| Posted on 2009-10-24 | by a guest


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This poem could be interpreted as having been written from Rossetti's death bed, but it is most likely to be refering to her religious beliefs and how her being anglican has restricted her love for her partner. She is being forced to leave him due to religious differences and wants to make sure that she will be remembered, but not grieved over, the emotions of saddness and love are strongly conveyed in this poem.

| Posted on 2009-10-12 | by a guest


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I think that the message of this poem could also be related to her experience of her devoted Anglican religion as it could be linked with Christ dying on the cross to be remembered and she is expressing her idea of what is the point if you live and are not going to be remembered? It could also be satirical as it plays on the concept of a sonnet and she is a playful poet who uses romantic forms and conventions and sonnets tend to be a form of expressing courtly love.

| Posted on 2009-09-20 | by a guest


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I think the poem is written when the writer is on bad condition. she cut hope in life but she is requesting to be remebered. she also advices her lover not to grief when he remember her otherwise it is better to forget her.

| Posted on 2009-07-18 | by a guest


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i have never cried at such an enjoyable piece of poetry, the way rossetti talks about this dying woman is so touching and is something my poem career would love to inspire to this captivating of death but with dignity.

| Posted on 2009-07-17 | by a guest


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It seems like she is struggling to say goodbye to her loved ones as she hopes they will "Remember" when she is gone. Her division and sepration from her family is definately killing her. Surely she leaves a clear message of eternal Love.

| Posted on 2009-05-07 | by a guest


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this poem is about her saying what she wants when she passes away and leaves all of her family and friends.

| Posted on 2009-03-04 | by a guest


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This poem is by no means a simplistic, selfless request of rossettis that her family no grieve over their loss. It is more a bitter reflection on what she will gain through death and what her ex-fiancee having changed his religion will not, 'it will be late to counsel or pray' displays his inability to correct his religious beliefs and the inevitability that he will suffer for it. There is a sense of bitter satisfaction in th line 'better by far you shoulf forget and smile' as Rossetti feels confident in her choice and knows the regret that her lover would feel if he were to remember the life (and afterlife) he could have had and 'be sad'.

| Posted on 2008-12-23 | by a guest


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I think this poem was written when rosetti was in her death bed. She wants to recall the first meeting with her husband , how unforgetful it was and how romantic it was.She wants time to repeat itself with all the good things that had happened to her.
Sherbanu

| Posted on 2007-11-29 | by a guest


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This poem is one of my favourites because like I really feel like I know the poet just from reading this Italian sonnet. This was an ill women thinking about her future and the first four lines make it clear that she is talking about when she’s dead, “When you can no more hold me by the hand,” Like with many sonnets their a point when the mood or thought changes slightly. To me it feels as is she is simply thinking to herself and wishing to be remembered but when she reached the end of the sixth line she realises what remembering her would involve. This brave women then decides that she would rather her family be happy than grieve over her. It’s the final two lines that bring tears of respect to my eyes. “Better by far you should forget and smile, than that you should remember and be sad.” What she wants most is for them to remember her yet live on but when she releases that is unlikely she chooses the selfless option. I doubt I could be a strong enough person to do that. To be so selfless that you advise your family to smile on rather than grieve in your memory is just amazing and I think that this poem would have guaranteed her position as Poet Laureate if she had not been snatched away from her family- who undoubtedly still grieved.

| Posted on 2005-05-27 | by Approved Guest




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