CHRISTINA ROSSETTI, English poet and sister of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, born (d: 1894); religious and “delicate” (a favorite Victorian word) the shy Christina in her simple Quaker-like dress stands in relief against the rich and intricately patterned Pre-Raphaelite tapestry that was her brother’s background. Her Monna Innominata is one of the great sonnet sequences in English. Much of Christina Rossetti’s poetry has been seen by critics from Willa Cather to Jeannette Foster as “variant,” one poem in particular, “Goblin Market,” is a classic of (unconscious?) Lesbian writing. The poem is convincingly interpreted in Foster’s Sex Variant Women in Literature, and an excerpt here is sufficient for the flavor of her work. Two sisters are tempted by hideously ugly and deformed male goblins to eat some luscious fruit that they know to be “forbidden.” One sister yields to temptation and eats the fruit, all of which is carefully selected to suggest the vagina (cherries, figs). The sister who eats goes wild, “She sucked their fruit globes, fair or red…sucked and sucked and sucked…until her tongue was sore…” It’s quite a poem.