The division of my sister's writings in this edition runs thus: The Longer Poems, Juvenilia, Devotional Poems, General Poems, Poems for Children and Minor Verse, and Italian Poems. Each of these sections is arranged in order of date, so far as the conditions (as to which some details are given in my Notes) reasonably allow. I think that readers already interested in Christina Rossetti's poetry will find some pleasure in tracing the sequence of dates. They will learn that some of her best poems were written at a very early period of her youth. Her own arrange ment of her poems in the latest collected edition (which, as already indicated, includes only the volumes that I have numbered 2, 3, and 5, and not the other four volumes) may also be regarded as a point of some interest; I give that Table of Contents in an Appendix (a). That her arrangement in all instances was not merely haphazard may be taken for granted - she consulted her brother Dante Gabriel a good deal, with regard at any rate to No. 3 at the same time, I do not perceive that any very definite plan has been followed in the latest collected edition. One clear distinction is made - that of separating the poems which first appeared in vol. 5 from those which are proper to vols. 2 and 3; the contents of 2 and 3 are fused together without any regard to dates of composition or of first publication, and perhaps even with some inclination to keep this point in a haze.
As to the few Italian poems, I have had before now occasion to remark that 'they appear to me to be in essentials as good as those in English, although I could readily suppose that in some points of diction, etc. They are not up to the standard of verse written by a native Italian. Later on I was somewhat surprised to find, in an Italian literary paper named 11 Marzocco, a criticism expressed in the following very adverse terms: 'she wrote also some Italian verses; but, if I am to judge of them from the specimens I know, they not only do not add anything to her fame as a poet, but rather detract from it, so formless and inept do they seem to me. It might almost be thought that the writer of those verses did not, as we know she did, speak from early childhood her paternal language.' This criticism is signed 'th. Neal,' an English-seeming name which is used (as I have been informed) by an Italian writer. I quote the observation for whatever it maybe worth, and for candour's sake, but can hardly help thinking that it must be harsher than the circumstances warrant. Recently I have had occasion to converse with a literary Italian, well versed in English he considers that Christina's Italian.
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Publisher - Forgotten Books
Language - English
Author(s) - William Michael Rossetti
Published Date - August 26 2019
ISBN - 9780267443581
Dimesions - 22.9 x 15.2 x 3.4 cm
Page Count - 581
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