Thursday, March 11, 2010

The First Day - C. Rossetti

Rossetti came from one of those families (like the Kennedys) where you could look like an under-achiever because you were "only" a Senator.  

Her brother was Dante Gabriel Rossetti (painter, poet) and her father Gabrieli Rossetti (poet).  Her poetry, reflective of her time (mid 1800's England), isn't usually my taste, but I've always liked this one, perhaps because it isn't as over-written as (I feel) many of her other ones.  (There are photos of her in later life, but they are not flattering in the least: she was not photogenic.... even this illustration is very kind to her looks.)

The First Day

I wish I could remember the first day,
First hour, first moment of your meeting me;
If bright or dim the season it might be;
Summer or winter for aught I can say.
So, unrecorded did it slip away,
So blind was I to see and to foresee,
So dull to mark the budding of my tree
That would not blossom, yet, for many a May.

If only I could recollect it! Such
A day of days! I let it come and go
As traceless as a thaw of bygone snow.
It seemed to mean so little, meant so much!
If only now I could recall that touch,
First touch of hand in hand! - Did one but know!

Christina Rossetti - English

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