Christina Rossetti, selected poems Contents
- A Better Resurrection
- A Birthday
- A Royal Princess
- At Home
- Cousin Kate
- Despised and Rejected
- Goblin Market
- Good Friday
- Jessie Cameron
- Maude Clare
- Shut Out
- Song (When I am dead, my dearest)
- Summer is Ended
- The Convent Threshold
- The Lowest Place
- To Lalla, reading my verses topsy-turvy
- Winter: My Secret
More on Rossetti's attitude to death:
In many of her poems, Rossetti presents heaven as a place where the righteous can rest after the struggles they have endured on earth. In her poem Up-hill, also included in Goblin Market and Other Poems, she imagines beds for all those in the long journey of life (see The poetry of Christina Rossetti > Up-hill). Rossetti offers some implicit suggestions that after death, instead of going straight to heaven, the righteous enter a place of waiting where they can rest before entering heaven on the Day of Judgement.
In 1836, whilst he was still a Tractarian, John Henry Newman (see Religious / philosophical context > Tractarianism > John Henry Newman) gave a sermon entitled The Intermediate State (for more information on accessing Newman's sermons and other Tractarian sermons, see the Resources page). In this, he argues against the popular yet ‘frightful notion' of purgatory where Christians are ‘kept in fire or other torment, till … they are at length fitted for their glorious kingdom'. Instead, he finds evidence in the Bible that Christians rest ‘in a state of rest' in a ‘paradise' which, although ‘pure and peaceful', is not heaven.
Catholics have traditionally believed that there are three realms that souls can go to after death: heaven, hell and purgatory. They taught that purgatory is a place to which souls go to prepare for heaven and to receive cleansing for their sins.
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