Eye Rhyme

rhyme that appears correct from spelling, but is half-rhyme or slant rhyme from the pronunciation. Examples include “watch” and “match,” and “love” and “move.”

An Apple Gathering
Christina Rossetti

I plucked pink blossoms from mine apple-tree,
And wore them all that evening in my hair:
Then in due season when I went to see
I found no apples there.

With dangling basket all along the grass
As I had come I went the selfsame track:
My neighbors mocked me while they saw me pass
So empty-handed back.

Lilian and Lilias smiled in trudging by,
Their heaped-up basket teased me like a jeer;
Sweet-voiced they sang beneath the sunset sky,
Their mother’s home was near.

Plump Gertrude passed me with her basket full,
A stronger hand than hers helped it along;
A voice talked with her through the shadows cool
More sweet to me than song.

Ah, Willie, Willie, was my love less worth
Than apples with their green leaves piled above?
I counted rosiest apples on the earth
Of far less worth than love.

So once it was with me you stooped to talk
Laughing and listening in this very lane:
To think that by this way we used to walk
We shall not walk again!

I let my neighbors pass me, ones and twos
And groups; the latest said the night grew chill,
And hastened: but I loitered, while the dews
Fell fast I loitered still.

In the poem “An Apple Gathering”, Christina Rossetti uses eye rhyme to convey the theme of the poem, one of love and betrayal. The narrator of the poem is more puzzled than resentful by her theoretically represented experience of betrayal by a false lover. As the speaker views her friends returning from the orchards with baskets full of apples, she reminisces on her lover. The eye rhyme contributes to the theme by deceiving the eye into thinking the two words would rhyme, but in reality they don’t.

Link: Sky Slime

"Silence is more musical than any song."

~Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti

         Christina Rossetti was born in London, one of four children of Italian parents. Her father was the poet Gabriele Rossetti (1783-1854), professor of Italian at King's College from 1831. He resigned in 1845 because of blindness. All the four children in the family became writers, Dante Gabriel also gained fame as a painter. Christina was educated at home by her mother, Frances Polidori, a former governess, an Anglican of devout evangelical bent. She shared her parents' interest in poetry and was portrayed in the paintings and drawings of the Pre-Raphaelites. Christina was the model for his brother's picture The Girlhood of Mary Virgin (1849), which was the first picture to be signed P.R.B. Jan Marsh has proposed in her biography Christina Rossetti: A Writer's Life (1995) that Christina was sexually abused by her father, but "perhaps like many abuse victims she banished the knowledge from conscious memory." However, this kind of speculative claims become highly popular in biographies in the 1990s. 
         Rossetti's first verses were written in 1842 and printed in the private press of her grandfather. In 1850, under the pseudonym Ellen Alleyne, she contributed seven poems to the short-lived Pre-Raphaelite journal The Germ, which was founded by her brother William Michael and his friends. When the family was in a financial trouble, she helped her mother to keep a school at Frome, Somerset. The school was not a success, and they returned in 1854 to London. Except for two brief visits abroad, she lived with the mother all her life. 
         Rossetti's deeply religious temperament left its marks on her writing. She was a devout High Anglican, much influenced by the Tractarian, or Oxford, Movement. Rossetti broke engagement to the artist James Collison, an original member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, when he joined the Roman Catholic church. She also rejected Charles Bagot Cayley for religious reasons. 
         By the 1880s, recurrent bouts of Graves' disease, a thyroid disorder, had made Rossetti an invalid, and ended her attempts to work as a governess. Rossetti's illness restricted her social life, but she continued to write sonnets and ballads. Especially she was interested the apocalyptic books, and such religious writers as Augustine and Thomas à Kempis. She also admired George Herbert and John Donne. Among her later works are A PAGEANT AND OTHER POEMS (1881), and THE FACE OF THE DEEP (1892). She was considered a possible successor to Alfred Tennyson as poet laureate. To accept the challenge, she wrote a royal elegy. However, Alfred Austin was appointed poet laureate in 1896. Rossetti developed a fatal cancer in 1891, and died in London on December 29, 1894.