“In Progress” by Christina Rossetti.


Ten years ago it seemed impossible
That she should ever grow as calm as this,
With self-remembrance in her warmest kiss
And dim dried eyes like an exhausted well.
Slow-speaking when she has some fact to tell,
Silent with long unbroken silences,
Centred in self yet not unpleased to please,
Gravely monotonous like a passing bell.
Mindful of drudging daily common things,
Patient at pastime, patient at her work,
Weary perhaps but strenuous certainly.
Sometimes I fancy that we may one day see
Her head shoot forth seven stars from where they lurk
And her eyes lightnings and her shoulders wings.


There is an excerpt from Rossetti’s Goblin Market on this site, and although I do not find her angels as terrifying as those written by Nagy or Atwood, I still wonder at how the writer tells a metamorphosis.

Of course I shall add in here links to Nagy’s Book, Between, in review and to Atwood’s Suicide Angel, which is only in the form of a reference to Funny Bones (at the base of this piece) along with the Rossetti’s Goblin Market link.

Christina Rossetti , by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Between by Nagy
Notes on Fear
Goblin Market
Atwood and Julian of Norwich



  1. I was stunned by it , and do think that poets like Nagy and Atwood write
    similar themes. Glad I dug out the book TBH. A lovely evening spent
    reading Rossetti !

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