Saturday, April 4, 2020

When I am Dead, My Dearest | Major English - XII | Grade 12 Major English Note

When I am Dead, My Dearest | Major English - XII | Grade 12 Major English Note
When I am Dead, My Dearest
By Christina Rossetti
About the Poem:
The whole poem consists of two stanzas and of two varying significance. The first stanza reveals the world of living and the second the poet's experience in the grave. The poet may be trying to be realistic regarding her death. She is against any sort of mourning that sings like of showing off.  

Generally, it is found that after somebody’s death people express their grief by singing sad songs and planting roses and cypress trees. But the poet feels that they are just pretending. She does not like ostentatious behavior. Rather she thinks that if people are truly sorry for the death of their loved ones then they should be humble like grass and only a few drops of tears will be enough. As rain and dew drops make the grass green forever, tears will make their love eternal. Later she does not force him to miss her. If he likes he will remember and if he does not like he will forget.

After her death she will be buried in the tomb, and she will go to the world of the dead. She will not see the shadow of the cypress planted by her beloved. He will not feel rain or tears. However, sadly anyone can sing, but she will not listen to it. A nightingale's melodious but sad song will not touch her. She spends the rest of her time dreaming through a never-ending evening when the sun neither rises nor sets. Perhaps she will remember or forget it.

The poet criticizes the showing behavior questioning the mournful ritual. She suggests some other sincere ways to express one’s sadness. She seems to be giving more significance to life. Many people are indifferent to their dear ones when they are alive, but spend a lot of time and money when they are dead. The poet seems to be against such human attitudes and manners. She expects people to be humble in expressing their love and grief for the departed ones.
Important Questions and Answers
1.    What does the poet tell the dear one (a) to do (b) not to do after her death?
The poet tells her dear one to let the green grass be above her with showers and dewdrops wet. She asks him if he wants he can remember her. Green grass will grow there and the grave of hers will remain wet. She tells her beloved not to sing any sad songs and plant roses and cypress trees at her head to remember her after her death.   
2.    What will the poet not experience after her death?
She will not experience three things after her death. She will not see the shadows of the tree. She will not feel the rain. She will not hear the nightingale singing on, as if in pain. She will have dream lying in the grave. She lies asleep all the time. She asks her dear one not to sing any sad songs for her.
3.    How does the poet contrast the world of the living to the world of the dead?
In the living world people have different attitudes, wishes and desires about life and death. When a person dies, the living ones sing sad songs for her. They plant roses at her head. They also plant a cypress tree to make her memory fresh. They can't be humble like the green grass. Sometime later they will remember if they like and they will forget if they like. But the world of the dead one is completely different from that of living one. The dead person does not see what the living people do for her. She will not see the shadows of the trees and feel the rain. She will not even hear the sad songs. She will remain in the same form and condition in the world of the dead until the doom's day (a very long time, forever).