Christina Rossetti’s ‘Goblin Market’- faery lore and art

Goblin Market  by Christina Rosetti is a narrative poem of stunning imagery and abundant sensuality. The drive behind its plot focuses on the actions of the goblin men and how the fruits they sell in the market affect the life of a pair of loving sisters. In this post, the fantastic aspects of the poem regarding the fairies are brought to light and discussed in depth.

British Fairies

ArthurRackham_GoblinMarket_100 Arthur Rackham, Goblin Market

Christina Rossetti’s poem, Goblin Market, which was published in 1862, is primarily a work of literary genius.  Its rich, intoxicating language and hypnotic rhythm and refrains carry the reader along irresistibly.  It is a long poem, too long to reproduce in full here, but I provide a link to the whole text and cite here the first few lines:

“Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:
“Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy:
Apples and quinces,
Lemons and oranges,
Plump unpeck’d cherries,
Melons and raspberries,
Bloom-down-cheek’d peaches,
Swart-headed mulberries,
Wild free-born cranberries,
Crab-apples, dewberries,
Pine-apples, blackberries,
Apricots, strawberries;
All ripe together
In summer weather,
Morns that pass by,
Fair eves that fly;
Come buy, come buy:
Our grapes fresh from the vine,
Pomegranates full and fine,
Dates and sharp bullaces,
Rare pears and greengages,
Damsons and bilberries,
Taste them and try:
Currants and…

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Poetry: what makes my skin so bright

MY VALIANT SOUL

I chop a slice of moon
of an excellent shard from a mirror,
I take a dip in a splintering winter well,
the well of charm & despair,
the evening air does the rest of the job
the apricots stitched onto my lips
my lips forbid to tell your secrets
there,
there is nothing inside the gateway to chivalry,
a half-eaten fruit
a half-read poetry
a half- kissed muse

There it is
I can feel it freely
a gallop of a hysteric wave,
a sunrise, so distant

you need the recipe?

see my knuckles, the hard egg shaled nails,
a fever running through my belly,
they all bow to my cheekbones,
my cheeks ingest your lies too.
How about it?

Will it be a part of the regime too?

and a salt-glazed cup
of electric moon

it didn’t take long,
to be like this.
i wept also.
I wept and…

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The way- I am

MY VALIANT SOUL

do you remember the blues
penetrating my veins
of penumbra stoic
sheets?
your cutting voice of thunder
like a thorn poking
my chiselled neck & colour
my white skin turning weird
a stinking smell of appearance
& a missing map between cities.
cities of loss, cities of despair.

And i danced in the hollows of horizon
where liquids formed circles of numb rain,
you haunted me, ghost- like lemon peel.
and i peeled the layers, still & obvious.
With mercury dropping, lightings of heart.

( I am a sun- soaked, mosaic formation of wilderness & weed growing under your chin)

©Image and words- MVS

#NaPoWriMo#25


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