A Saturday Woman Poet, How Words Play, Images

Goblin Market, by Christina Rossetti

Lizzie and Laura

There are as many modes of literary criticism as there are types of fruit described in Rossetti’s Goblin Market– bestly the critics who do the Freudian analyses…..

The poem too long to publish here, so this is an excerpt,

Goblin Market.

” Morning and evening
Maids heard the goblins cry:
“Come buy our orchard fruits,
Come buy, come buy:
Apples and quinces,
Lemons and oranges,
Plump unpicked cherries-
Melons and raspberries,
Bloom-down-cheeked 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 gooseberries,
Bright-fire-like barberries,
Figs to fill your mouth,
Citrons from the south,
Sweet to tongue and sound to eye,
Come buy, come buy.:. “

[of course the poem is about sex . It’s about other stuff too, forbidden fruits addiction, awareness and sacrifice. Laura succumbs and lizzie saves her. it’s a bit floaty-light and frothy for most tastes and consistently gets shelved for more serious stuff on similar themes… but is a good example of image making in pre-tv eras when people got their jollies from using their heads to visualise the licking scene…] Goblin market, by Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

NOTE :  for info on Dante Gabriel Rossettis illustrations put , ‘and Lizzie veiled her blushes ‘ into any search engine… the pics caused quite a storm. The tradition of Courtly love and benign friendship was where she took her influence, in this case I would ignore Freudian analyses and go with Rossetti – her innocence is apparent-  though the subconscious thread in creation always provides meat for academic thought]