Petrarch's poems as contexts for "Monna Innominata," even
the triangulation of the monna innominata, Esther, and Petrarch portrays
Rossetti achieves a revisionary voice in "Monna Innominata,"
poem's representation of Esther and of the monna innominata,
In its vision of love as a desire that cannot be satisfied, Mother and Daughter parts company with Sonnets from the Portuguese, and unlike Monna Innominata it advocates accepting-rather than transcending-the disappointments of human love.
29) I am, of course, thinking of Barrett Browning's Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850), Meredith's Modern Love (1862), Dante Gabriel Rossetti's The House of Life (1870), Eliot's Brother and Sister (1874), and Christina Rossetti's Monna Innominata (1881).
We see this pattern of renouncing earthly passions, once experienced, in favor of religious devotion and fulfillment in works published later as well, such as the incomparable Monna Innominata
sonnets, whose speaker tells her story of "love and parting in exceeding pain" (11.
For instance: all sonnet-sequences consciously participate in a tradition; but I can think of no example except for Christina Rossetti's Monna Innominata
that so strenuously displays its debts to precursors as to put a pair of epigraphs at the head of every sonnet, essentially disrupting the economy that defines the sonnet form.
In "A Woman of Women for 'A Sonnet of Sonnets': Exploring Female Subjectivity in Christina Rossetti's 'Monna Innominata
,'" Sharon Bickle argues that Rossetti marked "a disjunction between the voice of the poet/translator and the Lady who speaks" (p.