My Father's Close

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

General Description

Date: 1869
Rhyme: a3b3a3c 1
Meter: iambic
Genre: rondeau


◦ Gregory Life and Works of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. II. 124

◦ Lang, ““French Originals”, 1949), 1219-1222


Editorial glosses and textual notes are available in a pop-up window. Line numbering reflects the structure of the 1881 Poems>1881 First Edition text.

Scholarly Commentary


This poem and its companion piece John of Tours underscore the connection between DGR's work and the symbolist movement in France. Among the Pre-Raphaelite poets only Swinburne is regularly connected with that important contemporary school of French writing, but it is clear that DGR's work connects with it as well, perhaps at least as much as his friend Swinburne's work does.

DGR's translation of the old French poems is undertaken under the auspices of the poetry of Gerard de Nerval, who resuscitated them in 1842. When Swinburne reviewed DGR's 1870 Poems, where both of the translations appeared, he specifically called attention to Nerval when he remarked on DGR's translations (see the Fortnightly Review,May 1870 ).

Textual History: Composition

It was probably translated in 1869, sometime before August, when themanuscript was put into print by DGR in a thePenkill Proofs for the forthcoming 1870 Poems. WMR dates it 1869 in 1911.

Printing History

It is first printed in the Penkill Proofs, the first of the prepublication texts DGR prepared for the eventual publication of his 1870 Poems.


It is unclear which edition, or editions, DGR used when translating this Old French poem, but it is probable that he knew and used Gerard de Nerval's version of the work (first published in La Sylphide for 9 July 1842 , and after various further reprintings, collected in his Oeuvres completes (1867-69)). DGR's translation is four lines shorter than Nerval's French text.

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: 41-1869.raw.xml