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Janet Jennings: A Daughter ...Embedded video
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Christina Rossetti, a significant voice in Victorian poetry, is best known for ballads and mystic religious lyrics that carefully combine form and imagery in the guise of seeming simplicity. Meaning is suggested rather than explicit. Crying, My Little One _, published in _Sing-Song (1872), simultaneously evokes the security of childhood and the burden and uncertainty of motherhood. Winter: My Secret (published in Goblin Market and Other Poems, 1862) is overtly mischievous with its bounding rhythms and skilful word play. The speaker refuses to share a secret thereby attempting to assert control over one small aspect of her life. She metaphorically wraps herself in protective clothing (a shawl, veil, and cloak) to keep others out.
A Daughter of Eve expresses an overwhelming sense of regret, its cause concealed by the ambiguous use of metaphor. Rossetti spent ten years as a volunteer at St Mary Magdalene's penitentiary for prostitutes and unmarried mothers in Highgate, London, and this experience may be reflected in the veiled imagery of the poem.
This song cycle comprises three songs as follows:
I. Crying, My Little One, Footsore and Weary?
II. Winter: My Secret
III. A Daughter of Eve
Christina Rossetti (1830–1894)