I herewith declare this Folio Society Appreciation Week. First I featured the Japanese Short Story Anthology and now it is the turn of their volume of Christina Rossetti’s poems. Every now and again the Folio Society outdo themselves. All their books are beautiful but some are exceptionally so. This is one of them. Cue my amateur photos or link to the Folio Society page where the illustrations are reproduced much more luminously. The latter, of course.
I read this for January’s poetry project and I’m so glad I did. I discovered some wonderful poems although I have to say CR’s preoccupations with failed relationships, regret, death, death and more death make for gloomy reading. Still it is the bleak midwinter here and what could be more appropriate? I’m not going to critique them. A year of participation in the Poetry Project hasn’t furnished me with the skills to attempt that. I’ll just agree with Virginia Woolf’s assessment:
Your instinct was so sure, so direct, so intense that it produced poems that sing like music in one’s ears – like a melody by Mozart or an air by Gluck.
Shall I point to a few favourites?
2) After Death
1) In an Artist’s Studio which is obviously about the red-haired Lizzie Siddal, is it not?
Consider this the first poem of the month – a new feature to this blog. After a year of consciously reading some poetry (a 100% improvement of what went before), I’ve noticed that some of the most enjoyable poems don’t get mentioned here because I may have read the poem on a blog, in a newspaper or magazine and I tend only to write about full collections read. Well, from here on in, on the last day of the month, I will feature the poem I enjoyed the most in that particular month. I may only post the text but hopefully, this series will build into my personal poetry scrapbook.
And on that note, I shall leave you with an amazing recital of In an Artist’s Studio by none other than a virtual Christina Rossetti. Enjoy!