読者です 読者をやめる 読者になる 読者になる

ワザリング・ハイツ -annex-

どんなに忙しい毎日でも、紅茶を飲んで、ほっとひと息。

Christina Rossetti / Selected Poems

文学(Literature)-Rossetti, Christina 文学(Literature) 文学(Literature)-イギリス文学


I was really surprised at finding that a poem of Christina Rossetti was printed on the English textbook in Japanese junior high school. Our time is Emily Dickinson, an American poet. Why Rossetti’s poem was used might be due to the fact that she left many poems for children. Such is the case with Shuntarou Tanikawa writing some poems using Hiragana or playing on words.

Such poems are collected into Sing-Song: A Nusery Rhyme Book. I’ll take some of them here, so read aloud without considering the meaning, if you please.


1 and 1 are 2—
That’s for me and you.

2 and 2 are 4—
That’s a couple more.

3 and 3 are 6
Barley-sugar sticks.


And more.


Seldom “can’t,”
Seldom “don’t;”
Never “shan’t,”
Never “wan’t.”


The next one is elaborate.


“Ding a ding,”
The sweet bells sing,
And say:
“Come, all be gay”
For a wedding day.


“Tan Tan Tan Tan”, the rhythm of continuous words are resonant with the sound of the bell. It is a particular poetic expression that the meaning is accorded with the sound. The more complicated the poems is, the easier such technique is likely to be overlooked. But great poets like Wordsworth or Tennyson mostly assume the accordance of the sound and the meaning. Japanese poems are also the same case. If you are not good at reading poetry, it’s better to approach from that reading.