Summary and Analysis of A Dream by Christina Rossetti: 2022

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Last updated on September 9th, 2022 at 03:37 pm

About the Poet:

Christina Rossetti (5 December 1830- 29 December 1894) was an English writer who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional and children’s poems during her time. The sister of Pre-Raphaelite writer-artists, Dante Gabriel and William Rossetti, she was gifted with heights of creative powers. Although she was educated at home, it was by her mother who had studied well-known religious works, classics, fairy tales and novels of her time. Some of her most famous works include “Goblin Market” and “Remember”.

Introduction to A Dream :

This poem by Rossetti is all around the story of her and her loved one that is broken apart by the war. Rossetti deals with the delicate pain of having suffered loss after being with the one that she loved. What is more grieving is the fact that she considers it all to be a big dream because all her happiness seems to have Been Lost or disappeared.

The setting of A Dream :

This poem is a perfectly short and well-versed rhyme by Rossetti that was set around the time of war. Much like a dream, Rossetti writes this poem in a lost state and even cries at the incident of her love being taken away from her by the hands of a war which was not induced by anyone of the two.

Also Read:  Summary and Analysis of Remember by Christina Rossetti: 2022

Poetic Devices in A Dream :

Line 3: Above our heads two swift-winged pigeons wheeled,
Line 5: Down-swooping, and a ravenous hawk revealed;
Line 6: Too weak to fight, too fond to fly, they yield
Line 9: fell fluttering to the ground,
Line 11: I wept, and thought I turned towards you to weep:
Line 13: Bent in a wind which bore

Style of A Dream :

Once in a dream (for once I dreamed of you) (A)
We stood together in an open field; (B)
Above our heads two swift-winged  pigeons wheeled, (B)
Sporting at ease and courting full in view. (A)
When loftier still a broadening darkness flew, (A)
Down-swooping, and a ravenous hawk revealed; (B)
Too weak to fight, too fond to fly, they yield; (B)

Summary of A Dream :

Rossetti speaks of a dream that she picturized where she and her lover are walking through fields when suddenly, a war breaks out and she is left stranded with her lover nowhere to be found. This poem in itself may be interpreted as a dream by Rossetti due to the long passage of that incident.

Critical Analysis of A Dream :

The poem deals with the tragic loss that is felt when the one you love is lost due to unmanageable circumstances. Rossetti might also want to reflect on the pain felt by two hearts that are separated by war.

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Central Idea of A Dream :

The entire poem revolves around the story that Rossetti supposedly dreams where she is separated from her lover while they are walking through a field. She cries at the given circumstances and cannot believe that she is devoid of her love. It could also be possible that this sequence of events might have taken place in reality but it has been so long that it now seems like it was all a dream to her.

The Tone of A Dream :

The poem begins with Rossetti’s dream of walking through a lush field along with her lover. She rejoices over some joyful moments before she realises that the skies have fallen and a war has fallen upon them. She then looks around to have her lover nowhere to be found. She is distributed and goes on to narrate that she wells up and cries at the events that have unfolded before her.


The poem is Rossetti’s short stories narrated through the means of a poem. She tries to relate with those couples that have lost one another at the cost of a war and recollects her own memory of it to be so long ago that it possibly could have been a dream itself.
Contributor: Deeksha Honawar 

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