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Rossetti’s poem and painting: The Day-Dream


Dante Gabriel Rossetti
,1880, oil on canvas,, 62.5 in × 36.5 in, Victoria and Albert Museum

The thronged boughs of the shadowy sycamore
Still bear young leaflets half the summer through;
From when the robin ‘gainst the unhidden blue
Perched dark, till now, deep in the leafy core,
The embowered throstle’s urgent wood-notes soar
Through summer silence. Still the leaves come new;
Yet never rosy-sheathed as those which drew
Their spiral tongues from spring-buds heretofore.
Within the branching shade of Reverie
Dreams even may spring till autumn; yet none be
Like woman’s budding day-dream spirit-fann’d.
Lo! tow’rd deep skies, not deeper than her look,
She dreams; till now on her forgotten book
Drops the forgotten blossom from her hand.

The chalk sketch (1878) that The Day Dream was based on is held by the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

About the author:

Portrait of Dante Gabriel Rossetti c. 1871, by George Frederic Watts

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882), was an English poet, illustrator, painter, and translator, and member of the Rossetti family. He founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais. Rossetti was later to be the main inspiration for a second generation of artists and writers influenced by the movement, most notably William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. His work also influenced the European Symbolists and was a major precursor of the Aesthetic movement.

Rossetti’s art was characterized by its sensuality and its medieval revivalism. His early poetry was influenced by John Keats and William Blake. His later poetry was characterized by the complex interlinking of thought and feeling, especially in his sonnet sequence, The House of Life. Poetry and image are closely entwined in Rossetti’s work. He frequently wrote sonnets to accompany his pictures, spanning from The Girlhood of Mary Virgin and Astarte Syriaca, while also creating art to illustrate poems such as Goblin Market by the celebrated poet Christina Rossetti, his sister.

Source: Wikipedia.