Sweet Mouthful: World Poetry Day

To celebrate World Poetry Day, I asked friend and colleague Anna Lepine about her favorite poem. Here's what she chose and why.

I love “Goblin Market” because it can be understood on so many levels and because it is such a sweet mouthful to read out loud. It is a story about the dangers of excessive pleasures and consumption (“come buy, come buy,” say the goblin men), but it is also a forgiving look at desire. Laura, the “fallen” one, is redeemed, but not before her sister Lizzie has to get smeared all over with goblin juices. I also love how one of the things that was eerie about the poem initially was that the fruit was “all ripe together / in summer weather.” Our reliance on modern grocery stores removes the spookiness of the goblins’ tempting descriptions of fruit, but the Victorians would have been suspicious about strawberries being ripe at the same time as pears, not to mention their easy access to exotic pomegranates. The poem is absolutely “sweet to tongue and sound to eye,” and I can’t get tired of reading it.

Read Christina Rossetti's "Goblin Market" here

Anna Lepine reads and writes from Hudson, Quebec.