A Birthday – Christina Rossetti Analysis

Essay's Score: C

Grammar mistakes

C (77%)


A (100%)

Redundant words

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D (62%)

Table of Content

The poem “A Birthday” by Christina Rossetti utilizes extensive and positive imagery, specifically focused on descriptions of nature. The entire poem is filled with imagery, which serves to convey the overwhelming sense of pure joy experienced by the speaker. There is a noticeable contrast between the two stanzas. The imagery in the first stanza draws from familiar natural elements, while also incorporating biblical references. In the second stanza, the poet adopts a more materialistic tone, describing exotic and royal objects. Ultimately, the poet has entered a new phase of her life, hence the title “The Birthday.”

The poem employs gorgeous imagery to portray a romantic perspective of nature, enhancing the text’s depth and highlighting the beauty of the narrator’s newfound phase in life, her “birthday”. Starting with the imagery in the first line, “My heart is like a singing bird,” it conveys the idea that her heart experiences the same joy as a bird when it sings. The portrayal of a singing bird is a commonly used element in Romantic poetry, adding an exquisitely romantic and enchanting tone to the poem. Furthermore, a bird’s song is spontaneous and effortless, occurring naturally.

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The poet does not intentionally seek this feeling, but rather her happiness arises naturally and is almost uncontrollable. The word “heart” underscores the strength of her love, as a heartbeat symbolizes a constant pulse, indicating the poet’s belief that her love is an essential part of her being. When the speaker mentions having a “nest” in a “watered shoot” (line 2), she implies that she has finally discovered a sense of comfort and stability. The term “shoot” refers to the initial growth of a plant, and when combined with the idea of it being “well watered”, the poem conveys ideas of abundance and fertility.

The concept of being watered also carries biblical connotations, like the notion of baptism, when a child is watered to embark on a life guided by God. Moreover, another instance of imagery in the poem depicts the narrator’s heart as an apple tree that is weighed down by plentiful fruit. This serves to demonstrate that similar to the apple tree brimming with apples, the narrator’s heart is also “full”. Consequently, this suggests that the speaker is satisfied, complete, and harmonious with their existence.

The concept of apples can also evoke thoughts of the apples in the Garden of Eden, as apples are frequently associated with the idea of forbidden fruit. This might prompt readers to perceive that Rossetti believes she has reached a stage in her life when she can coexist harmoniously with nature, just like in the Garden of Eden. Additionally, the speaker compares their heart to a rainbow shell, a vivid metaphor that suggests the speaker feels lively, radiant, and invigorated due to their newfound joy.

The speaker in A Birthday expresses their emotions through the technique of pathetic fallacy, giving human feelings to inanimate objects like the ‘apple tree’ and ‘rainbow shell’. This creates a romantic tone in the imagery of the poem. Additionally, the poet employs structural techniques by starting each alternate line in the first verse with ‘My heart is like’.

The text highlights the speaker’s difficulty in finding the right words to express her intense emotions. The speaker vividly uses picturesque examples to convey feelings of ecstasy, joy, and love. The imagery predominantly includes references to plants, animals, and other natural elements, illustrating the speaker’s connection between nature and emotions of happiness and romance.

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A Birthday – Christina Rossetti Analysis. (2016, Oct 15). Retrieved from


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