Perverse or Folly? Is the “Goblin Market” Really a Kids Poem?

After reading the “Goblin Market” poem, I was left with an uneasy feeling between the perverse and folly; I was left pondering the multiple end meanings of the poem. Christina Rossetti, the poem’s creator, embodies these two feelings by punning on the sexual/temptation of experience, and the foolish/folly of child archetypes. As an adult I was left with mixed emotions because of having experienced the innocence in folly, and at the same time, fully understanding sexuality and temptation.

Perverse or Folly? By Willy Martinez on Mind on Fire Books

To begin with, Rossetti attracts both child and adult readers with epanalepsis: “come buy, come buy” (line 4). The repetition continues throughout this work, setting a playful tone; the conflict in interest lies when epanalepsis is used to reiterate something sexual: “She sucked and sucked and sucked the more Fruits which that unknown orchard bore; she sucked until her lips were sore” (134). Clearly, this is borderline sexual. Laura sucks fruits from the goblin’s unknown orchard until her lips became sore – this orchard represents a tree, shooting out of the earth, offering it’s seeds. The orchard tree can be viewed as the goblin’s sexuality, and her sucking on the fruits can be viewed as her enjoyment in sensual seduction.

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Yet, in accordance with the ‘innocence’ of the potential reader, assuming we all experience innocence at one time, the poem still reads as jubilee and silly with a quick rhythm. Could only an adult mind see it as perverse and folly?

Another manner in which Rossetti concocts this scheme is by leaving the end open. In the last stanza, she jumps from Lizzie and Laura being young, to both of them being mothers. An explanation is never dispelled for the exact antidote that Lizzie brings to Laura. Perhaps it is because as adult readers we are just expected to know what the cure is, since we have experienced life, which might be one explanation for the two sisters handing down their knowledge, from the experienced to the innocent. But “Goblin Market” never distinguishes what really cured Laura, leaving the reader to wonder and at the same time still have an idea of what occurred. Rossetti plays on both realities to conflict what is really going to the adult reader.

Perverse or Folly? By Willy Martinez on Mind on Fire Books

To the child reader, the scenes are seen as comical or colorful but to the adult reader, whose knowledge would also include the child reader, the scenes can be seen as explicitly sexual with euphemisms. These sexual euphemisms serve as visual guides to the perverse and folly. “Hug me, kiss me, suck my juices” are not normal words one would find in a child’s poem.

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Within the poem, “Goblin Market,” the sexual is sublime and it’s childlike folly is apparent for us adult readers. Rosetti has fused both of these elements to seduce both, our experience and our innocence, and once again, question ourselves about what is learned in our very own lives.

On Writing Horror Willy Martinez

  • On Writing Horror amassed from an obsession to learn where the power of fear resides. An anthology of works studying the way in which writers evoke fear and how they may affect us. On Writing Fear is an index of terror, drawing from Aristotle, Longinus, Edmund Burke, Che Guevarra, Wordsworth, Foucault, H.P. Lovecraft, Todorov, and many more.

    Chapters include digital illustrations created by the author.

    Also available at the Apple iBookstore, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

    A must have collection of research on the power of Horror- a tormented treatment of the human passions!

    Table of Contents for On Writing Horror

    Ch 1. Fear and War: Crafting the War on Terror Using Fear Appeals Ch 2. The Art of the Coup D'etat Ch 3. The Feminine Supernatural versus the Male Supernatural Writers Ch 4. Projecting Ghost Children to Find Identity Ch 5. The Supernatural Power of the Sublime in Wordsworth's Poetry Ch 6. Disorienting Characters with Haunted Spaces and Auditory Hallucinations Ch 7. Modern Ghosts Ch 8. The Fantastic in Fear Ch 9. The Fun Side of Fear: Faustus' Tricky Imp of Satan Ch 10. Glorifying Satan

    Some of the art included:

    [caption id="attachment_4846" align="alignnone" width="188"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4847" align="alignnone" width="200"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4848" align="alignnone" width="194"]Art for On Writing Horror Art for On Writing Horror[/caption]

Mad Men

  • Mad Men is a collection of three disturbing horror shorts from authors living in the Midwest. The themes explored in this collection range from man versus self, man versus man, and man versus creature. [caption id="attachment_4742" align="alignleft" width="188"]Mad Men eBook Mad Men eBook at Mind on Fire Books[/caption] Mad Men begins with Matt’s tale, a thought-provoking thriller which causes the reader to question his reality and what he fears within himself. The second tale explores the grotesque juxtaposed with beautiful nature, where the ending unfolds into a horrific dream, waking in even more terrible pain. The third tale is by seasoned horror writer, A.R. Braun – and his diabolical creatures never disappoint!  A.R. Braun’s goal is to be on the banned book list; we think this tale may just be evil enough to be considered. A must read before it does get banned! Mainstream Horror Shorts don’t always satisfy us in the way they should. They don’t open conversations about what it is that we fear or why we fear such things, they focus mainly on pop culture and gore. The writers in the Mad Men anthology understand the need for literate horror, opening discussions of man’s psyche. When these writers set out to tell a story, they are less interested in conveying fear and more interested in wonder, the sublime, and the infinite strangeness that drives all man and woman. Highly recommended for tweens, teens, and adults. The Mad Men anthology published by Mind on Fire Books. Written by Willy Martinez, A.R. Braun and Matt Lavitt. No part of this book shall be copied without permission from the publisher.

Ghost Children

  • The ghost children in “The Lost Ghost” and “The Wind in the Rose-Bush” are not restricted ghosts, and this is how these ghosts differ from the other ghosts of writers of Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman time such as Henry James, Sarah Jewett or Ambrose Bierce. These apparitions may seem cute, but think twice as these ghost children will leave you with goose bumps. This double feature of Mary E. Wilkins short fiction is creepy enough to leave you sleeping with the lights on.
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