I Read Therefore I Am discussion

Poem of the Day > 14. Uphill - Christina Rossetti

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message 1: by Lee (last edited Aug 26, 2013 01:59AM) (new)

Lee Up-Hill

By Christina Rossetti 1830–1894

Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
From morn to night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place?
A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you standing at that door.

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
Yea, beds for all who come.

(chosen by Hilary)

message 2: by Lee (new)

Lee I cannot make out if the poets destination is heaven or just death- full stop. I know she was very religious - but it doesn't sound as she is looking forward with any joy to the end of her journey.

for some reason it reminds me of this bit of The Wasteland (T S Elliot)

Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
—But who is that on the other side of you?

message 3: by Hilary (new)

Hilary | 2082 comments You've made me think Lee because I've never considered Heaven to be implied in the poem at all, or really thought it had any religious overtones. Silly because, as you say, she was religious.

I've always thought it was describing the difficulties of life, that it is always uphill, hard and wearisome. That death is the only release from a hard life and that only death brings peace. I first came across this poem at a time of great sadness in my own life and I suspect that is why it always has such a profound effect on me.

Grief, what morbid thoughts for a sunny Bank Holiday morning!

Perhaps for a future poem, in a much lighter vein, "when I am old I shall wear purple" . A friend of mine formed a small group of like minded women and they called themselves the red hat group and promised to practice hard!

message 4: by Laurel (new)

Laurel | 1486 comments Mod
It doesn't seem religious to me either? Just as if she is talking about Death. It's a good poem but is a bit depressing - did she have a sad life does anyone know? It's just the up-hill all the way bit - you wouldn't say that if your life was generally a happy one.

message 5: by Lee (new)

Lee @ Hilary - you are not going to believe this - but that is the poem I'd already got lined up for tomorrow!!!!!!!

message 6: by Hilary (new)

Hilary | 2082 comments What a coincidence! I hope you don't feel under any obligation to post poems I mention, they are just mentioned in passing

message 7: by Lee (new)

Lee All suggestions are more than gratefully received- if left to myself I'd run out of ideas in a couple of months and we'd be reduced to limericks :0)

message 8: by Lee (new)

Lee @ Laurel -I just quickly googled Miss Rossetti- I gather that she suffered from regular bouts of serious illness throughout her life which would certainly make it hard to maintain a sunny outlook on life

message 9: by Laurel (last edited Aug 28, 2013 08:17AM) (new)

Laurel | 1486 comments Mod
Makes sense - I didn't think someone would have that outlook on life with no reason.

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