Twice Christina Rossetti 1830-1894 Twice I took my

Twice Christina Rossetti 1830-1894 Twice I took my

Twice Christina Rossetti 1830-1894 Twice I took my heart in my hand (O my love, O my love), I said: Let me fall or stand, Let me live or die, But this once hear me speak(O my love, O my love)Yet a woman's words are weak; You should speak, not I. You took my heart in your hand With a friendly smile, With a critical eye you scanned, Then set it down, And said: It is still unripe, Better wait a while;

Wait while the skylarks pipe, Till the corn grows brown As you set it down it brokeBroke, but I did not wince; I smiled at the speech you spoke, At your judgment that I heard: But I have not often smiled Since then, nor questioned since, Nor cared for corn-flowers wild, Nor sung with the singing bird. I take my heart in my hand, O my God, O my God, My broken heart in my hand: Thou hast seen, judge Thou My hope was written on sand, O my God, O my God: Now let Thy judgment standYea, judge me now This contemned of a man, This marred one heedless day,

This heart take Thou to scan Both within and without: Refine with fire its gold, Purge Thou its dross awayYea, hold it in Thy hold, Whence none can pluck it out. Title (date) I take my heart in my handI shall not die, but liveBefore Thy face I stand; I, for Thou callest such: All that I have I bring, All that I am I give, Smile Thou and I shall sing, But shall not question much. Important questions to ask while reading poetry 1. Who is the speaker in the poem? Self-explanatory, but of paramount importance. Who is doing the talking? Is it the poet, or is it a created persona? Never assume its the poet.

2. What is the theme of the poem? That is, what is the poem talking about anyway? Were talking about big ideas here- issues that the poem addresses, not just what happens. 3. What is the tone of the poem? That is, what seems to be the speakers attitude toward the theme? What seems to be the poets attitude toward the theme? Toward the speaker? 4. What is important about the diction of the poem? That is, what kind of language does the poet choose? why does she choose this particular kind of language? How does this language relate to the theme, help us understand tone, etc? 5. What image or images does the poem contain? Does the poem appeal to any of your senses? How? What sort of feelings are these sensory images meant to evoke? 6. What metaphors appear in the poem? How are they used? What do they represent? How do they relate to theme and tone? 7. What is important about the structure of the poem? That is, is there rhyme? Why? What type of rhythm is used? Why? Is there anything unusual about the way the poem is presented physically on the page? Why? 8. How can I respond personally to the poem? That is, what is it about this poem speaks to me? How does this personal response help my understanding and appreciation of the poem? 9. How may of the context in which the poem was written influenced the meaning? NONE OF THESE QUESTIONS ARE MEANT TO BE CONSIDERED IN ISOLATION. IN A WELL-CONSTRUCTED

Group Task on Imagery & symbolism 5 groups each make notes using the ideas card see PP Market place to find other information The Heart Refinement Skylarks

The corn and the cornflowers Sand Test!!!!! Investigating imagery and symbolism Note down the various ways in which the speaker describes her heart What surprises you about the way in which it is described? Why do you think that she chooses to speak of her heart in this way? What do you associate with the idea of scanning something? How are these associations met in the description of the beloved? How are these associations met in God scanning' the speaker's heart? (lines 11, 35). What differences does the speaker suggest

exist between the way that the beloved scans the heart and the way that God scans Religious language and allusions All that I have I bring, All that I am I give (lines 45-6) These words echo the vows made at a wedding when a ring is exchanged Liturgy The solemnisation of matrimony:The exchange of rings Title (date) The speaker suggests that surrendering all she has and all she is to God is the only way in which she can live' rather than die' (line 42). This belief is rooted in the Bible teaching, that the process of entering the new life offered by Jesus entails dying'

to the old way of living: We were therefore, buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Romans 6:4 TNIV Title (date) The refinement with fire that the speaker endures alludes to an image frequently used in the Bible that God uses suffering to purify believers (Isaiah 48: 10, Daniel 11:35). Daniel 11:35 35 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to

the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed. Title (date) Investigating language and tone Why do you think that the speaker smiled' at the speech that her beloved gave her even though it hurt her so much (line 19)? Why do you think she calls his rejection a speech'? At the end of the poem, the speaker declares that she shall not question much' (line 48). Why do you think that she says this? What negative associations does she have with the idea of questioning? Where do you think these associations have come from? Title (date) Themes

Judgement Throughout the final few verses of Twice, the speaker anticipates the coming judgement of God. Wanting to prepare herself for this judgement, she suggests that God scan' her heart (line 35) now and purge' it from any dross' or worthless matter (line 38). Christians believe that after death / upon the return of Christ to the world, every human life will be brought to a final account by God ( Matthew 12:36-37), with Jesus as the judge ( Matthew 13:36-43). All lives will be exposed and those who have not responded to the revealed will of God will be shut out from his presence for good, whilst believers will be welcomed into his presence forever (Revelation 22:14-15). By moving from a consideration of the judgement' that her beloved declares over her (line 20) to the

judgement that God will one day give, the speaker emphasises her realisation that it is God who she wants to please rather than a man. She suggests that, although being prepared for the Day of Judgement may be difficult and presents various Structure *How does the rhyme scheme alter in stanza 4? *What does this tell us about the speakers feelings? Title (date) Investigating structure and versification Try reading the phrases O my love' and O my God' aloud repeatedly, changing the syllable you stress each time. Which sounds the most appropriate? Why do you think that this is? Mark out the stresses in the second verse

How do you think the rhythmic pattern of the verse reflects the emotions of the speaker? Is there anything surprising you can identify in the verse? I took my heart in my hand (O my love, O my love), I said: Let me fall or stand, Let me live or die, But this once hear me speak(O my love, O my love)Yet a woman's words are weak; You should speak, not I. A one stressed and one unstressed syllable. The poetic term for a threesyllable foot arranged with a stress at each end.

a foot consisting of two long (or stressed) syllables. Metre The metre of the poem often draws attention to certain sounds which, in turn, reflect particular feelings and emotions. For instance, the O sound is stressed in the first two lines to emphasise the A metre in poetry, each foot speaker's sense of loss and emptiness: consisting of two unstressed syllables, followed by a I took my heart in my hand stressed syllable. A rising (O my love, O my love) (lines 1-2) metre, like the iambic. Comprised of two iambic feet followed by an

anapaest, the rhythmic stresses in the first line all fall on vowel sounds. The rising rhythm of both the iamb and the anapaest means that the poem introduces a note of speed from the dramatic opening. An amphimacer is the poetic term for a threesyllable foot arranged with a stress at each end. If the exclamation O' is to be read as a stressed syllable, then the phrase, O my love' could arguably be described as an amphimacer. Occasional spondees convey the speaker's strong feelings: But this once hear me speak' Thou hast seen, judge thou'

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