After Death poem by Christina Rossetti explanation

After Death poem by Christina Rossetti explanation

So we are discussing “After Death” by Christina Rossetti. but first, we will answer those questions which are frequently asked by people. the first question is “Who wrote the poem after death?” so of course it was written by an English poet named Christina Georgina Rossetti who also wrote children, devotional and romantic poems.

now the 2nd question is “When was after death by Christina Rossetti written?”. It was written in 1862 and the central idea of the poem is tragic love and death.

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Stanza from line 1 to 4

    The curtains were half drawn, the floor was swept 
And strewn with rushes, rosemary and may 
Lay thick upon the bed on which I lay, 
Where through the lattice ivy-shadows crept

Explanation :

Here in this stanza, the poet is saying that it is the death ceremony of the poet. People were coming to attend that ceremony. so she is describing the place where she is laid down and people are coming. She said that the room is warm and cozy. And the curtains are half-drawn in there.

The floor is kept clean and is swept. Furthermore when someone attends the death ceremony, usually a flower is brought to the ceremony. So people came and placed flowers over the dead one. So she is saying there is a pleasant smell here which is due to the flowers of rushes, rosemary, and may.

Moreover, the plenty of flowers also suggest that people are attending the ceremony and have come to see the dead women (the poet). Furthermore, the poet explains that I was smelling the smell of flowers because the flowers were laid upon the same bed at which I was laid down dead. And as mentioned earlier that the curtains were half drawn so the shadow of lattice ivy was also entering the room giving more beauty to her funeral day.

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2nd Stanza from line 5 to 8

He leaned above me, thinking that I slept

And could not hear him, but I heard him say,

‘Poor child, poor child’: and as he turned away

Came a deep silence, and I knew he wept

"After Death": A Female Perspective on Lost Love Click To Tweet

Explanation :

          Now the 2nd stanza starts when her lover approaches the funeral. He also came to attend the death ceremony. When the lover of the poet approaches her, he leaned at her and came closer to her. When the lover leaned upon her, he was thinking that the poet was sleeping. And as the poet is sleeping, she would hear nothing. But the poet is explained that I heard my lover said “poor child, poor child “.

These are the words that when someone’s attended the death ceremony, these words are uttered such as “poor child, poor child” or ‘he or she was a good man or women” or ‘rest in peace”. The next explanation could be that the poet was expecting more from his lover than that not just these words and she expresses her feelings here and showed us that the lover is being very cruel to her. And the sleep here is referring to the eternal sleep means the death that she is dead.

Furthermore, she is saying that as he(her lover) leaned upon me and utter the words, he turned back and was going back to his world and while turning back there was a deep silence but deep down I(the writer) know that her lover cried. Now the writer did not know why her lover cried. It is maybe that someone dies, there is a feeling of sorrow for the dead human, or that he was also in love with the poet.

After death by Christina Rossetti line by line analysis Click To Tweet

Stanza No 3 from line 9 to 14

He did not touch the shroud, or raise the fold

That hid my face, or take my hand in his,

Or ruffle the smooth pillows for my head:

He did not love me living, but once dead

He pitied me; and very sweet it is

To know he still is warm though I am cold.

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Explanation :

      Here in the last stanza the poet is describing her lover as being very cruel to her and has no feelings for her even when she is dead and she is complaining about his cruelty. She is saying that as I was dead and was wearing the traditional death clothes, my lover did not even bother to touch the shroud which I was wearing and not even has raised the fold to see my face for the very last time that was hidden under the fold.

Furthermore, she is complaining that nor my lover has seen my face nor he even take my hand in his hand. He has not taken her hand in his hand because taking hand in hand is a sign of love. But she is saying that I loved him but not him. That’s why he did not take her hand in his hands. Furthermore, she is explaining the cruelty of her lover that he didn’t even make me comfortable at the last moment of mine (dead) that he did not arrange the pillow under my hand which would make me comfortable.

The last lines of the poem are very interesting and the best lines of mine. The poet is saying that I was in love with my beloved very much that even I’m dead, I am writing that poem about my lover and describing him. I was and I am in love with him but as far as I was alive he did not love me back and did not give me attention at all.

But now I am gone from this world and I am dead, but one thing has happened which is good for me and is very sweet that when I was alive, my lover had no feelings for me, not of love not of anything, but now I am dead and at least he is having feelings for me. Though it is of pity, yet they are feeling as well. I am dead now and a dead human has no feelings so I have become cold because I am dead and have no feelings but he is alive and is warm and is having a feeling of pity for me.

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