Birthday by Christina Rossetti
Everything in the first stanza speaks of the happiness Rossetti sees around her, and the repeated expression ‘My heart is like . . .’ stresses this joy, but she says at the end of the first stanza that her “heart is gladder than all these” which implies that what the poet is feeling is more than she can put in words. The persona compares her heart to the “singing bird” to bring out how overjoyed she felt. This may imply that the author’s heart had the same energetic rhythm of the chirping bird. When we think of “singing birds” we think of a gorgeous day. This may also imply that the persona is having a wonderful day and her heart is filled with happiness. Rossetti’s heart is described as an “apple tree” which implies that her heart is enormous and powerful. The apple tree produces fruits; this implies that Rossetti had a fruitful heart always producing goods. The simile “like an apple tree” may also imply that the persona has enough space in her heart to let others grow. The poet uses the simile “like a rainbow shell” meaning her heart is beautiful and secured in a delicate way. The word “rainbow” brings out warmth and softness in the personas heart; this implies that the author has a blissful heart. The word “shell” implies that the heart is protected, it is secured. Rossetti expresses happiness by comparing her love to a number of bright and colourful things in nature that are full of life. The second stanza says that she would like to surround herself with the richest and most exotic things to celebrate the arrival of “my love”. At first sighting of the title must readers would assume that the poem is based on some one celebrating their birthday; however the actual meaning behind it is she feels reborn and happy after finding the love of her life.
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