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Poetry analysis: Promises Like Pie-Crust, by Christina Rossetti
by Radhamani Sarma
Promises like pie-crust by Christina Rossetti (1830-1894).
Christina Rossetti, the eminent Victorian woman poet was born in Dec, 5, 1830
in London in England. This particular poem promises like pie-crust’ was
written in the year 1861.The poetess in peculiar way makes reference to the
common topic of Promises and sincerely wishes or pleads her friend not to
make any promise and she too will maintain the status quo. It is a very delicate
issue of making a promise and breaking it. Most of us in our day today life will
make promises but most of us due to unwarranted situation will not abide by it,
causing embarrassment and dilemma for both the sides. Sometimes the situation
will expect of us that we will not be able to keep up a promise. As long as it is not
inimical we can violate a promise if situation demands.
Promises like pie-crust will not last long.
But the poetess goes a step further and says let their friend ship be not beguiled
and spoilt by promises.
” Promise me no promises,
So will I not promise you,
Keep we both our liberties,
Never false, never be true.
In a very, private conversational tone, she asserts that they (the friends) can keep
up liberties, their relationship can be maintained in true honesty, only when believe
in not making any promise. According to Rossetti, promise will stifle freedom and
the interpersonal relationship would be a t stake.
The poem takes a more grave tone, when she addresses her friend and days that both
of them mutually are unaware of their past. Their freedom will not be spoilt, they are
free to come and go as long as no promises..
In a very polished and scrumptious manner she relates, there may have been some
untold intricacies, some secrets, some unrevealed factors, which are so delicate,
The poetess further goes on to say the unpredictability of future, the uncertainty of
Life, and the glimmer is taken away from the glass. In a beautiful poetic imagery
“Who shall show us if it was
Thus indeed, in time of old?
Fades the image from the glass,
And the fortune is not told.”
The poem comprises three stanzas each having eight lines with alternating rhymes,
and the poet in a free conversational tone believes, that, promises made will make
one lose liberty in life. If she made promises she would lose the chain again.
In the last poetic lines the poet is categorical and makes that let there be only true
“let us be the friends we were,
nothing more, but noting less:
Anything should be economical and if exceeding the limit, will only end up in fiasco.
Not making promises is the boundary.
“many thrive on fugal fare,
Who would perish of excess.”
THE title like pie-crust is indeed good and apt.