Poem: “A Diamond or a Coal?”

A Diamond or a Coal?

A diamond or a coal?
A diamond, if you please:
Who cares about a clumsy coal
Beneath the summer trees?
A diamond or a coal?
A coal, sir, if you please:
One comes to care about the coal
What time the waters freeze.

Christina Rossetti

Christina was born in London, England in 1830. Though she suffered poor health and had bouts with Graves’ disease, which ended her work as a governess and restricted her social life, she continued to write poems. She developed cancer and died in London on December 29, 1894. Her poetry is marked by symbolism and intense feeling. She is best known for her ballads and her mystic religious lyrics. She is considered a major Victorian poet.