Few collections of verse have been associated with such drama as these poems by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-82). Much of this work had disappeared in 1862 when it was buried with Rossetti's wife, Elizabeth Siddal, only to be brought back to the light of day in 1869. Rossetti added further poems and the work first appeared in 1870. The full impact of the sexually explicit material was soon felt. In his article 'The Fleshly School of Poetry', the writer Robert Williams Buchanan denounced Rossetti as corrupt and decadent. Others joined the chorus of disapproving voices. Steeped in remorse about his treatment of his wife, and riddled with guilt about his affair with Jane Morris, Rossetti broke down and attempted suicide. Behind all the sensation, however, lies Rossetti's subtle and complex literary intelligence attempting, many years before Freud, to find honest modes of expression for the central importance of the libido.
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Beatrice beneath bower breast breath brow burning cheek Dante DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI Dante’s dark dead death doth dreams earth eyes face fair Father feet ﬁlled ﬁnd ﬁngers ﬁre ﬁrst ﬂame ﬂood Florence ﬂow ﬂower gaze God’s golden grace hair hand haply hath hear Hear/en heard heart heart’s desire Hell and Heaven hour Jenny Jenny’s John of Tours kiss knee knew lady Lady peace lady’s laughed light lilies Lilith lips Little brother look Lord Sands Love’s man’s Mary Mother moan moon mother my dear mouth night Nineveh o’er once peace pray rose round scorn secret shadow sighs silence Sister Helen sleep smile song SONNE SONNET soul speak sweet tears tell thee thine things thou thought to-day to-night told Troy Town turned Uguccione della Faggiuola unto voice wandering weep wind wings words