Tuesday, 21 April 2015

R is for Remembrance...and Religious...and Rossetti

Rossetti, Christina (1830-1894)

Christina Rossetti was an English poet who wrote romantic, devotional and children's poetry. Though she was ambivalent about women's suffrage, many later critics have identified feminist themes in her work. She opposed slavery and prostitution. Her work achieved moderate popularity in her lifetime and faded a little after her death with Modernism overshadowing the lyricism and strict prosody she favoured. However, interest revived again in the 70's, and she was widely read and critiqued as a master of English verse.  Her writing influenced several big names such as Virginia Woolf, Gerald Manley Hopkins and Philip Larkin.

The prompt for today is her poem Remember, the title matches today's letter, but that is purely co-incidental...or perhaps not.

Don't fret if you don't

Sometimes you won’t. Days will pile up
and crush the linen smell; thumb prints
on tables and doors themselves smudge,
the love talk snatched away by winds

as if it hadn’t happened at all.
But some days will come in hollow, gaunt
with hunger and heartache and you’ll
pick off their memory burrs but won’t

be rid of hooks and scoops chafing skin.
Some days you’ll remember and
all footfalls will sound like mine,
each sigh will be a brush of my hand.

I don’t wish it so, but it’s not my wish
that will determine your peace or anguish.

This A-Z Challenge is being dedicated to Tina Downey by her friends and fellow-bloggers.  I was not fortunate enough to know her personally, but she sounds like a wonderfully warm person.  An untimely loss is so much more difficult to Recover from.

R is for Remembrance, and R is also for my friend whose birthday it is in a couple days time. 

She was a Remarkable person, a devout Christian.  But she went to the local Hindu temple to join the Navratri celebrations, and observed the Ramadan. Her explanation was that they were all Indian celebrations! Had she been at home, there would be people - close friends and neighbours - observing them, and she would be participating Right alongside.  She saw no Reason to discontinue just because she was away. Talk about Religious tolerance and inclusiveness! 

She had a huge smile and an even larger heart with space for every one of her God's creatures in it, and she had a sense of humour to match that heart.  No conventional messages of RIP and all that for her, she's still laughing, "Peace? what's that?" wherever she is. And probably cracking a joke or two at the angels' collective expense, and keeping the pressure on the Trinity non-stop to do something pronto for maltreated pack animals.  

I miss you, my dear, more than I correctly articulate.  

Posted for the A-Z Challenge 2015.


  1. I'm so sorry the loss of your friend. I lost a dear friend two years ago and it still hurts. I hope my friend yours are cracking jokes up there together.

    Good luck with the A to Z Challenge!
    A to Z Co-Host S. L. Hennessy

  2. R - Remembering your dear friend with this loving tribute. May she rip..

  3. I am sorry for your loss...hope everybody develops an attitude like her.
    Loved the verse.

  4. Hi Nila - interesting to read Rosetti influenced those writers; Your poem is lovely ... but the R for Remember about Tina is special ... she was an incredible person - we had a very fun email connection ... always laughing together.

    Now your friend - it's sad to read this .. and I do hope Peace prevails and she is happy where she is .. cheers Hilary

  5. What a beautiful way to remember your dear friend. Now she lives on in our hearts too.

  6. Your friend sounds like she was an incredible person. Very understanding.
    I miss Tina. She was like my sister.

  7. Oh, I am sorry for your loss.

    I LOVE Christina Rossetti. Her Goblin Market is one of my favorites.

    Tim Brannan, The Other Side Blog
    2015 A to Z of Vampires

  8. I love your response poems to the prompts. Amazing. Beautiful remembrances. Love that you're honoring your friend too. She sounds like she was an amazing person. Hugs. Eva


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