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Goblin Market

            Goblin Market is one of Christina Rossetti's major narrative poems. Rossetti tells the story of two women and their betrayal that arrives in a vast number of levels each with varying effects. These betrayals are background by false ideals spawned from the innocence of these women. Their innocence is the delusive obviousness to their mutability. As a woman, writing of the weakness of women, Rossetti certainly was one up on her fellow male poets of her time, and it could be said that Christina Rossetti carried the dawning of female poetic freedoms. She transgressed many nineteenth century views on the role of the woman poet, both in her poetic style and the issues she tackles. On the other hand, Rossetti can be seen as being complicit by these same ideas. She had a strong Anglo-Catholicism background; this imposed tight constraints upon how far she would investigate a self-sufficient femininity. Rossetti challenged the accepted notion of female creativity and in some extent can be considered a feminist poet.
             In many respects Goblin Market is directly contradictory to many nineteenth century views about the role of the woman poet. Mary Ann Stoddart, 1842, defines the sphere of the poetess as: .
             "All that is beautiful in form, delicate in sentiment, graceful in action will form the peculiar province of the gentle powers of women".
             Goblin Market can be said to have none of these qualities. To first consider the requirement, "beautiful in form" Goblin Market differs from the bulk of Rossetti's poetry in that it has a much less formal structure; the tumbling irregular meter employed in Goblin market is a rarity amongst Rossetti's work, her favoured form being the short lyric. This lack of formal structure was criticised by Ruskin, who refused to submit Goblin Market to the newly established Cornhill Magazine. He suggested, in a letter to her brother, Dante Gabriel, that: "Irregular measure is the chief calamity of modern poetry your sister should exercise herself in the severest commonplace of meter until she can write as the public likes; then if she puts in her observation and passion all will become precious.

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