In among all of the academic reading I don’t have much time for fiction at the moment, as the dissertation deadline fast approaches. Poetry, however, is nice to dip in and out of. One of my all time favourites is Remember by Christina Rosseti. I discovered it years ago, I think when I was about fourteen or so, and it has remained precious to me ever since. It took on new significance when I read it at a funeral last year.
Not only is it a beautiful piece of poetry prose with a perfect sonnet structure, but it also has a tragically meaningful story behind it. Towards the end of her life Rosetti suffered from a thyroid disorder. Knowing the disease would be detrimental to her lifespan, she wrote this poem for her partner.
Remember, Christina Rossetti
Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you plann’d:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.