"The Woodspurge" and "A Birthday" Compare and Contrast

Topics: Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Christina Rossetti, Poetry Pages: 2 (543 words) Published: November 15, 2012
Christina Rossetti’s “A Birthday” and Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s “The Woodspurge” describe two emotions that are at opposite ends of the spectrum. In, “A Birthday”, the narrator expresses her sheer bliss and happiness of finding her love. On the other hand, “The Woodspurge”, illustrates the darkness that grief can bring into your life, no matter the reason. The authors of these compositions were, in fact, family. Brother and sister to be exact.

Christina Rossetti’s “A Birthday” is begins with the declaration “My heart is like a singing bird…”. This statement creates very strong imagery for the readers and sets the mood of the poem straight away. The diction that Miss Rossetti uses is very complex and is a mixture of manmade and nature related definitions. The word choice is also very symbolic. Each line is consumed with hidden meanings, i.e. “My heart is like an apple tree/ Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit”. The symbolism has many interpretations, i.e. “Carve it in doves and pomegranates” has many different meanings. Two of the most common, fertility and death, have two very opposite emotions that are attached to them. Fertility is thought of with joy and means for celebration, while death is unwelcomed and means for grief. The two stanzas of the poem have some major distinctions. The first stanza focuses on using nature related diction and imagery, while the second uses words that represent man made luxuries and general opinions.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s “The Woodspurge” is describes a grief stricken narrator in an outdoor setting. When the poem begins, the narrator is wandering in whatever direction the wind blows him, until the wind stops and he sits down. He sits there until he opens his eyes and there are weeds within his view. Among them, he sees a Woodspurge and it leaves a lasting impression on him. Mr. Gabriel uses very simple diction, but the order in which he puts them is complex. The words are monosyllabic and...
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