Poetry

Remember

Christina Rossetti’s “Remember” twists conventional sonnet tropes and structure to offer an unconventional view of mourning and remembrance. The speaker asks her lover to “remember” her after she has died and understand that they can no longer hold hands or plan a future together. However, the speaker qualifies this request by distinguishing between “remembering” her and grieving her absence. If her lover feels grief over her death or guilt over momentarily forgetting to grieve, then she would rather be forgotten entirely. While this message could cast the speaker as a petty martyr, Rossetti uses the sonnet form to build a logical argument that distinguishes between grief and memory. In this way, “Remember” becomes a touching exchange between a speaker and her lover: she wants to be remembered forever without her lover feeling the pain of her passing.

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