A Birthday- Christina Rossetti

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In the poem, “A Birthday”, Christina Rossetti uses extensive and positive imagery, mostly pertaining to natural descriptions. The whole poem is composed of imagery, used for the purpose of relaying the sense of pure joy the speaker is feeling. There is also a contrast between the two stanzas. The imagery used in the first stanza draws on familiar natural objects but can also be read with many biblical implications. In the second verse, the poet speaks quite materialistically about exotic and royal things. The poet has given birth to a new phase of her life; hence the poem is named as The Birthday.

I think that the poem uses a lot of very beautiful imagery with a very romantic view towards nature, which adds a very high richness to the text, which works to show the beauty of her new phase of life, her “birthday”.

The first line starts off with the imagery, “My heart is like a singing bird.” This gives the impression that her heart feels the same joy as a bird has when singing.  The image of the singing bird is one which is often used in Romantic poetry. This creates a very romantic and beautiful tone to the poem. As well, a bird sings without trying; it happens naturally. This emphasizes the idea that the poet is not attempting to feel this way on purpose, but rather the joy she has occurs naturally and is almost uncontainable.

 Also, she uses “heart”, which underlines the strength of her love, as a heartbeat is a constant pulse, showing that the poet believes that her love is something that is a big part of her being.

By having a ‘nest’ in a ‘watered shoot’ (line 2), the speaker suggests that she finally feels comfortable and can stay: The word shoot links to the initial growth of a plant, combined with how the shoot is ‘well watered’, the poem conveys ideas of lushness and fertility.

The idea of being watered also has biblical connotations; such as the idea of baptism, when a child is watered to begin their lives under the path of god....
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