'Remember' by Christina Georgina Rossetti
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Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Not I half turning to go, yet turning to stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be too late to counsel or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of thoughts I once had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Remember by Christina Georgina Rossetti
Are you looking for a poem that can touch your heart and make you feel the deepest emotions of love, loss, and remembrance? Look no further than "Remember" by Christina Georgina Rossetti.
This classic poem, written in the Victorian era, has stood the test of time and continues to be a beloved piece of literature. It explores the themes of love and death, and the longing for remembrance after one has passed away.
Form and Structure
The poem is written in sonnet form, with fourteen lines that follow the rhyme scheme ABBA ABBA CDCD EE. This traditional structure gives the poem a sense of order and balance, which contrasts with the emotional turmoil that the speaker is experiencing.
The sonnet is divided into two parts, with the first eight lines (the octave) focusing on the speaker's plea to be remembered after she is gone. The final six lines (the sestet) shift the focus to the speaker's loved one, urging him not to grieve for her but instead to remember the happy times they shared.
The poem opens with the famous lines, "Remember me when I am gone away, / Gone far away into the silent land." The speaker is addressing her loved one and asking him to keep her memory alive even after she has passed away. The use of the word "away" twice in the first line emphasizes the finality of death and the idea that the speaker will be separated from her loved one forever.
The speaker goes on to describe the peacefulness of death, referring to it as the "silent land" and a place where there is no need for "sun or star." This idea of death as a peaceful release from the burdens of life is a common theme in Victorian poetry.
The next four lines of the octave continue the speaker's plea for remembrance, but they also reveal her fear that she will be forgotten. She asks her loved one to "forget and smile" if he must, but to remember her "for a while" and to speak of her "sometimes" so that she will not be completely forgotten.
The shift to the sestet is marked by the phrase "Better by far you should forget and smile" which suggests the speaker is not just talking about herself – she is making a statement about the human condition. She is saying that we should not cling to the past and grieve endlessly over what has been lost, but instead should cherish the memories we have and find happiness in them.
The final six lines of the poem are addressed to the speaker's loved one, urging him not to grieve for her but instead to remember her in a joyful way. She encourages him to "smile" and to "be glad" that they had time together. The repetition of the word "remember" underscores the importance of memory in keeping their love alive.
One of the most striking things about this poem is the contrast between the speaker's fear of being forgotten and her desire for her loved one to move on and find happiness after she is gone. It speaks to the complexity of human emotions and the difficult balance between holding onto what we have lost and finding a way to move forward.
The use of repetition in the poem is also notable. The repeated phrase "remember me" emphasizes the importance of memory and the speaker's desire to be remembered after she is gone. The repetition of the word "smile" in the final six lines of the poem highlights the importance of finding joy in memories rather than dwelling on loss.
Another interesting aspect of the poem is the use of imagery. The idea of death as a "silent land" is a powerful metaphor that emphasizes the finality of death and the separation it creates. The reference to the "sun and stars" also underscores the idea that death is a release from the struggles of life.
The poem's structure is also significant. The sonnet form gives the poem a sense of order and balance, which contrasts with the emotional turmoil that the speaker is experiencing. The division of the poem into two parts – the speaker's plea for remembrance and her message to her loved one – creates a sense of resolution and closure that is fitting for a poem about grief and loss.
In "Remember," Christina Georgina Rossetti has created a powerful and moving poem that explores the themes of love and loss. Through her use of repetition, imagery, and structure, she captures the complexity of human emotions and the difficult balance between holding onto what we have lost and finding a way to move forward. This classic poem continues to resonate with readers today, reminding us of the importance of cherishing the memories of those we have lost and finding joy in the love we have shared.
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry is a powerful medium that can evoke emotions, memories, and thoughts in the reader's mind. One such poem that has stood the test of time is "Remember" by Christina Georgina Rossetti. This classic poem is a beautiful expression of love, loss, and remembrance that has touched the hearts of millions of readers over the years.
"Remember" was first published in 1862 in Rossetti's collection of poems, "Goblin Market and Other Poems." The poem is written in the form of a sonnet, which is a 14-line poem with a specific rhyme scheme and structure. The sonnet form is often used to express deep emotions and thoughts, and Rossetti uses it to great effect in "Remember."
The poem begins with the speaker addressing her loved one, asking them to remember her after she has passed away. The first line, "Remember me when I am gone away," sets the tone for the rest of the poem. The speaker is asking her loved one to keep her memory alive even after she is no longer there.
The second line, "Gone far away into the silent land," is a reference to death. The "silent land" is a metaphor for the afterlife, and the speaker is acknowledging that she will no longer be present in the physical world.
The third line, "When you can no more hold me by the hand," is a poignant reminder of the physical connection that the speaker and her loved one share. The speaker is acknowledging that after she is gone, her loved one will no longer be able to hold her hand, which is a powerful symbol of their love and connection.
The fourth line, "Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay," is a reference to the speaker's reluctance to leave her loved one. The speaker is acknowledging that even though she must go, she wishes she could stay with her loved one a little longer.
The fifth and sixth lines, "Remember me when no more day by day / You tell me of our future that you plann'd," are a reminder of the plans and dreams that the speaker and her loved one had for their future together. The speaker is asking her loved one to remember those dreams and to keep them alive even after she is gone.
The seventh and eighth lines, "Only remember me; you understand / It will be late to counsel then or pray," are a reminder that once the speaker is gone, it will be too late for her loved one to seek her counsel or pray for her. The speaker is asking her loved one to remember her and to keep her memory alive, even though she will no longer be there to offer guidance or support.
The ninth and tenth lines, "Yet if you should forget me for a while / And afterwards remember, do not grieve," are a reminder that it is natural for the living to move on after the death of a loved one. The speaker is acknowledging that her loved one may forget her for a time, but she is asking them not to grieve when they remember her again.
The eleventh and twelfth lines, "For if the darkness and corruption leave / A vestige of the thoughts that once I had," are a reminder that even after death, the speaker's thoughts and memories will live on. The speaker is asking her loved one to remember her and to keep her memory alive, even if it is just a vestige of the thoughts she once had.
The thirteenth and fourteenth lines, "Better by far you should forget and smile / Than that you should remember and be sad," are a reminder that the speaker wants her loved one to be happy, even after she is gone. The speaker is asking her loved one to remember her with a smile, rather than with sadness.
Overall, "Remember" is a beautiful expression of love, loss, and remembrance. Rossetti's use of the sonnet form, as well as her powerful imagery and metaphors, make this poem a timeless classic that continues to resonate with readers today. The poem is a reminder that even after death, our memories and thoughts can live on, and that it is important to remember and honor the ones we have lost.
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