review: goblin market and selected poems by christina rossetti

goblin market

forgive me father, for i have sinned. it’s been a long time since my last confession. these are my sins:

i bought rossetti’s goblin market and selected poems as an expensive a folio edition, because i enjoy a good story as much as thoughtfully crafted book design. plus i only understood fractions of it, the writing style is not much to my taste, but that might change if i understand the subtle undertones and messages the author is trying to convey.

this is it, you guys. you cannot get a better designed book if you’re looking for a collection of rossetti’s poems. and … holy shit, it’s just awesome because jillian tamaki illustrated it! [ see more ]

goblin market tamaki


obviously the most famous of her poems is the goblin market. i had my first encounter with her work through laini taylor’s beautiful book lips touch: three times which can be discribed as a nod to rossetti’s poem. here some of my favourite lines:

two thoughts of death.

her heart that loved me once is rottenness
now and corruption; and her life is dead […]
foul worms fill up her mouth so sweet and red;
foul worms are underneath her graceful head.
yet these, being born of her from nothingness
these worms are certainly flesh of her flesh.

– p 114

buds and babies

a million buds are born that never blow,
that sweet with promise lift a pretty head
to blush and wither on a barren bed
and leave no fruit to show.

sweet, unfulfilled. yet have i understood
one joy, by their fragility made plain:
nothing was ever beautiful in vain,
or all in vain was good.

– p 100

life and death.

life is not sweet. one day it will be sweet
to shut our eyes and die […]

life is not good. one day it will be good
to die, then live again. […]

– p 72

at home.

when i was dead, my spirit turned
to seek the much frequented house:
i passed the door, and saw my friends
feasting beneath green orange boughs […]

– p 24

rating 1.75


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