Christina Rossetti and Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Christina Rossetti and Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Christina Rossetti and Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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  • Pages: 2 (1005 words)
  • Published: October 25, 2017
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Love comes in many different forms.

When the word love is mentioned, people think of different things. They might think of love as what they have for their partner or their favourite cuddly toy. Both Christina Rossetti and Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote poems about 4 different attitudes towards love. Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote the poems A Mans Requirements and A False Step.

A Mans Requirements is a poem that is biased towards men and A False Step is a poem that is biased towards women and about missed opportunities.Christina Rossetti wrote the poems L. E. L. and A Birthday.

L. E. L. is a poem about self-pity for not being loved and A Birthday is a poem about religious and delirious love. Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote the poem A Mans Requirements although she is not the speaker a man is. The man tells the women he is speaking to, to love him with everything she is.

We can see this by the line ‘love me with thine open youth’. He also tells her to love him so much so that the neighbours can see how great he looks with a pretty girl on his arm. ‘Love me with thine heart, that all neighbours then see beating’.Basically this man is given the women a list of requirements that she has to fulfil, but only for six months. ‘I will love thee – half a year – as a man is able’. The rhyme scheme ABAB helps to emphasise the words.

The mood of t


his poem is very cynical, as he has to make women love him by making a list. It is witty at the end when he says he can only love her for six months, as this is very typical of a man. Elizabeth Barrett Browning also wrote the poem A False Step who is the speaker of this poem. It seems that Elizabeth Barrett Browning is talking to someone in particular.The person she is talking to has broken a heart, but she is telling them not to worry, as there is a world full of people as pretty as they are.

‘There’s a world full of man and women as fair as thou art’. She also says that it is not her fault, as he shouldn’t have put his heart out there. ‘And why should a heart have been there in the way of a fair women’s foot’. She says that it wasn’t there to cause her pain or to hurt her and that it was only a friend. ‘It was not a stone that could trip’ and ‘Twas merely the heart of a friend’.Then she tells her that if she keeps on doing it then she will end up being alone looking in the mirror with her dimples turning into wrinkles.

‘Thou, sitting alone at the glass’ and ‘where the smile in its dimplement was’. If she carries on being picky then there will be no men left and the ones that are left are going to be more precious even if they are ugly. ‘From seeking around thee in vain from hundreds who flatted before’ an

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‘Do I hold thee less precious, but more! ‘ The women who the poet is talking to say that she wishes she had that heart which she once trod upon. ‘I wish I had only that heart I trod upon ages ago!The rhyming scheme is again ABAB. This also emphasises the words.

The rhythm becomes more irregular as the poem progresses. Christina Rossetti wrote a poem called A Birthday. She could be the speaker of this poem expressing her feelings of her love. She wrote this poem on her own birthday. She starts off by expressing how her heart is feeling by repeating the phrase ‘My heart is’. Her heart is overflowing with love.

‘Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit’. This also shows that she has got too much love so the boughs are bending with too much fruit like heart her is overflowing with too much love.Her heart is happy and we can see this by the line ‘My heart is like a singing bird’, but her heart is happier then the rest as her love has come to her. ‘My heart is gladder then all these because my love has come to me’. The second stanza of this poem creates a more religious point of view. She uses the word ‘doves’, which makes you think of peace and love, but also when Noah sent a bird to find land.

She uses the word ‘pomegranates’ which are a rich fruit and are associated with religion. She also repeats the phrase ‘My love has come to me’. This poem is ecstatic jubilant and elated.It has a rhyme scheme of ABCBDEFE.

This poem forms images of Christian iconography. She has written this poem to express her happiness. Christina Rossetti also wrote a poem called L. E. L.

This stands for Leticia Elizabeth Landen who is the speaker of this poem. She is telling everyone that she needs some love, but she hasn’t got any. ‘My heart is breaking for a little love’. She sounds depressed as everything around her is in love, but she isn’t. ‘And birds pair everyone’.

She tries to dress herself up really pretty to find love, but it doesn’t work.I deck myself with silks and jewellery’. Then the angels tell her to wait and love will find her, but she doesn’t listen to them. She is determined to find love. ‘Take patience for thy scathe’.

This poem has a rhyme scheme of ABABCCC. It has a sad, pitiful, melancholy and lonely feeling. After reading and understanding these poems, it shows that love occurs everywhere. It tells people that it’s not just them with love problems, but that it’s happening all around the world. It’s telling people to stop worrying about love.

If it were meant to be then you wouldn’t be depressed all the time.

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