Christina Rossetti, I wish I could remember (1881)

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"Era già l'ora che volge il desio."--Dante.
"Ricorro al tempo ch' io vi vidi prima."--Petrarca.

I wish I could remember that first day,

First hour, first moment of your meeting me,
If bright or dim the season, it might be

Summer or Winter for aught I can say;
So unrecorded did it slip away,

So blind was I to see and to foresee,
So dull to mark the budding of my tree

That would not blossom yet for many a May.
If only I could recollect it, such

A day of days! I let it come and go
As traceless as a thaw of bygone snow;

It seemed to mean so little, meant so much;
If only now I could recall that touch,

First touch of hand in hand--Did one but know!

First Edition

Christina Rossetti. A Pageant and Other Poems. 1881.

Critical Edition

Christina Rossetti. "Monna Innominata, Sonnet 2 [1881]." Complete Poems. A Variorum Edition. Vol. 2. Ed. R.W. Crump. Baton Rouge, London: Louisiana State University Press, 1986. 86 f.

Further Reading

  • Barfoot, C. C. "'In This Strang Labourinth How Shall I Turne?': Erotic Symmetry in Four Female Sonnet Sequences," pp. 223-46. Barfoot, C. C. (ed. and preface). 'And Never Know the Joy': Sex and the Erotic in English Poetry. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Rodopi, 2006.
  • Wei, Yeo Wei. "Monna Innominata and Christina Rossetti's Audible Unhappiness," pp. 174-93. Weliver, Phyllis (ed. and introd.). The Figure of Music in Nineteenth-Century British Poetry. Aldershot, England: Ashgate, 2005.
  • Bickle, Sharon. "A Woman of Women for 'A Sonnet of Sonnets': Exploring Female Subjectivity in Christina Rossetti's "Monna Innominata"," pp. 117-35. Garlick, Barbara. Tradition and the Poetics of Self in Nineteenth-Century Women's Poetry. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Rodopi, 2002.
  • Stone, Marjorie. "Monna Innominata and Sonnets from the Portuguese: Sonnet Traditions and Spiritual Trajectories," pp. 46-74. Arseneau, Mary (ed. and introd.); Harrison, Antony H. (ed.) and Kooistra, Lorraine Janzen (ed.). The Culture of Christina Rossetti: Female Poetics and Victorian Contexts. Athens, OH: Ohio UP, 1999.
  • Lysack, Krista. "The Economics of Ecstasy in Christina Rossetti's Monna Innominata." Victorian Poetry, 36:4 (1998 Winter), pp. 399-416.
  • Bickle, Sharon. "Christina Rossetti's Monna Innominata: The Amatory Love Sonnet Sequence as Palimpsest." Australasian Victorian Studies Journal, 3:2 (1998 May), pp. 37-45.
  • Schofield, Linda. "Displaced and Absent Texts as Contexts for Christina Rossetti's Monna Innominata." Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies, 6 (1997 Spring), pp. 38-52.

External Links