A Birthday by Christina Rossetti.

Topics: Poetry, William Wordsworth, Iamb Pages: 2 (794 words) Published: April 15, 2013
In A Birt hday by Christina Rossetti, vivid descriptions of happiness fill the verse. Some such descriptions are 'a singing bird,' 'an apple-tree' filled with fruit, and 'a rainbow shell in a halcyon sea.' On this birthday, love is first experienced. Ms. Rossetti uses lots of description from nature to convey her feelings toward a birthday. She expresses happiness as fullness and as a well-watered tree that sustains life by harbouring a nest in its branches and a tree ready for harvest. A raised platform made of down and silk speaks of warmth and comfort.  She wants it lined with fur and purple as in royalty. Doves, pomegranates and peacocks add to this royal theme. She feels special and royal on her birthday because she has found love. The verbs "hang," "carve," "work," are commands that an official might daily use.   A singing bird - To a ‘singing bird’, vocal expression is as natural as breathing. By speaking of her ‘heart’ in these terms, the speaker indicates that her song forms a natural part of herself and is an overflow of her identity. The image of the singing bird is one which is often used in Romantic poetry. William Wordsworth emphasised the importance of expressing natural feelings when he argued that it was his intention to create a poetry which was a ‘spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings’. (See Literary context > Romantic poetry). A watered shoot - By having a ‘nest’ in a ‘watered shoot’ (line 2), the speaker suggests that the sustenance upon which she can live and rest has been provided: * The word shoot alludes to the first stages of growth of a plant as it emerges from the ground. By describing a shoot as ‘well watered’, the poem conveys ideas of lushness and fertility. However, rather than making a nest in a full grown tree, by making it in a shoot, the singing bird remains in a place of fragility, since it is easy to uproot or destroy a shoot * The idea of being watered has biblical connotations. In the Old Testament book...
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