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"I lift mine eyes": Mind, Body, and Spirit in the Devotional Poetry of Christina Rossetti

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dc.contributor.advisor Watson, Sarah Wilma Murphy, Kaitlin 2020-08-04T20:10:50Z 2020-08-04T20:10:50Z 2020
dc.description.abstract This thesis discusses how the poet Christina Rossetti uses the body and mind as a poetic merger to better access and understand her spirit. Through her devotional poetry, Rossetti reclaims the body's role in Biblical exegesis, incorporating the physical into a traditionally intellectual space. In doing so, she privileges the masculinized mind and feminized body, and this has profound impacts on her understanding of Scripture and faith. Throughout this thesis, I offer a close reading of three devotional poems by Rossetti: "DeProfundis," "The Lowest Place," and "A Better Resurrection." With "De Profundis," I discuss how Rossetti finds that the body is a valuable interpretive tool in exegesis. In the "Lowest Place," I argue that the Rossetti's humble posturing in response to Scripture connects to liturgical practice, integrating both body and mind into a spiritual space. Finally, in "A Better Resurrection," I consider how Rossetti navigates suffering and spiritual longing through her body in the form of poetic prayer. In each of these poems, Rossetti ultimately finds that both the body and mind are crucial to understanding the posture of her spirit, allowing her to restore her sight and renew her faith.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject.lcsh Rossetti, Christina Georgina, 1830-1894. Poems. Selections
dc.subject.lcsh Rossetti, Christina Georgina, 1830-1894 -- Criticism and interpretation
dc.subject.lcsh Devotional poetry, English
dc.subject.lcsh Mind and body in literature
dc.title "I lift mine eyes": Mind, Body, and Spirit in the Devotional Poetry of Christina Rossetti
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Tri-College users only

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