What if you could take your favorite poet to work with you? Imagine finding a poet in your cash drawer when you open it to make change. Or think about how much fun you could have with your favorite poet answering all your calls for the day. We can’t wait to see what our favorite poets will be doing in your workplaces on Take Your Poet to Work Day.
Take Your Poet to Work Day is coming July 16
To help you play and celebrate with us, we’re releasing poets each week in a compact, convenient format you can tuck in your pocket, tool belt, or lunchbox. Last year, we gave you Sara Teasdale, Pablo Neruda, T. S. Eliot, Rumi, Edgar Allan Poe, and the reclusive Emily Dickinson (for folks who work at home). We even released a full collection, The Haiku Masters: Matsuo Basho, Yosa Buson, and Kobayashi Issa.
This year, we’re building on the collection, adding one new poet each Wednesday, up until the big day. We started the celebration over the past few weeks with Langston Hughes, Adrienne Rich and John Keats, and William Butler Yeats. Today, we introduce one of the most prominent Victorian poets, Christina Rossetti.
Take Your Poet to Work: Christina Rossetti
Click here for a downloadable version of Take Your Poet to Work Day Printable Christina Rossetti that you can print, and color and cut out for the big day.
Yea, take thy fill of love, because thy will
Chose love not in the shallows but the deep
Christina Rossetti was born in London to Italian immigrants in 1830. She grew up in a literary environment, as her father was a poet. Her mother, a governess, educated her at home. Her brother Dante Gabriel was a poet as well as a painter, while her brother William Michael an art and literary critic and editor. Her sister Maria also wrote an important work on Dante. As children, the Rossetti siblings produced their own newspaper.
Rossetti’s first poems were printed privately by her grandfather as early as 1842 and distributed to friends and family. Two of her poems were published in The Athenaeum in 1847 and she had several poems printed in The Germ, the Pre-Raphaelite journal founded by her brother and his friends. She published her first collection, Goblin Market and Other Poems, in 1862, followed by The Prince’s Progress and Other Poems in 1866 and Sing-Song, an illustrated collection for children in 1872. She fell ill in the 1880s and was unable to work or maintain an active social life but continued writing poems, with additional collections published in 1881 and 1892.
Her poems—most often ballads and lyric poems—were marked by themes of religion, mortality, and loss as well as the inconstancy of love. Her work is known for its emotional intensity and its economy. She is often compared to Elizabeth Barrett Browning, among the most prominent Victorian poets. She died in London in 1894.
I loved you first: but afterwards your love
Poca favilla gran fiamma seconda. – Dante
Ogni altra cosa, ogni pensier va fore,
E sol ivi con voi rimansi amore. – Petrarca
Learn more about Take Your Poet to Work Day and our featured poets
Check out our Poetry at Work Day Infographic and help spread the word
Learn more about W. B. Yeats
Post and illustrations by LW Lindquist.
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