Christina Rossetti Poem – English Romanticism Poetry

A toadstool comes up in a night, –
Learn the lesson, little folk: –
An oak grows on a hundred years,
But then it is an oak.

Christina Rossetti was one of the English Romantic era poets who wrote in a devotional style or made observations about the natural world in her writings.

In my understanding this poem suggests to us the spiritual importance of deferred gratification: the oak tree becomes a tall and solid tree because it grows slowly and steadily overtime with patience. In contrast, the fast growing toadstool has come and gone in only a single night. The ‘little folk’ Rossetti addresses can be interpreted to be the audience: as this was potentially written as a children’s poem.