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]

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