Christina Rossetti was Born on December 5, 1830

That would be 179 years ago today, wouldn’t it? Here’s Christina Rossetti’s sonnet, “In life our absent friend is far away”. It’s the 28th sonnet from a collection of her sonnets that she titled, “Later Life”:

In life our absent friend is far away:

     But death may bring our friend exceeding near,

     Show him familiar faces long so dear

And lead him back in reach of words we say.

He only cannot utter yea or nay

     In any voice accustomed to our ear;

     He only cannot make his face appear

And turn the sun back on our shadowed day.

The dead may be around us, dear and dead;

     The unforgotten dearest dead may be

          Watching us with unslumbering eyes and heart

Brimful of words which cannot yet be said,

          Brimful of knowledge they may not impart,

     Brimful of love for you and love for me.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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