**** 1 - Year 11 Literature

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BIRTHDAY
CHRISTINA
ROSETTI
Analysis by
SIMONG SONG
The author-
CHRISTINA
ROSETTI
•5TH DECEMBER 1830 ~ 29TH DECEMBER 1894.
•Father- Gabriel Rosetti: Exiled Politician & Poet.
•Mother-Frances Polidori: Famous Physician.
•Born in London, have 3 older siblings who all became
an artist or writer.
•During 1840s, her family face financial problem due
to Gabriel Rosetti’s physical and mental illness.
•Her mother and her sister became devoted Anglican
christian.
• she was a model for many artist. One of the famous
example is the picture of the Virgin Mary by Dante
Rosetti-her brother.
•Talented writer, but never had a proper education.
•Began writing at 1842
•An idealist, fight for freedom of Black people, animal
right and natural conservation
•She was weak, infertile and suffered for all her life
and died of Graves Disease.
BIRTHDAY
My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.
Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.
LITERARY TERMS
•SIMILE-GIVES THE VIVID IMAGE OF HER
FEELING
-My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
•REPETITON-EMPHASIZES HER EMOTION
-My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
•SYMBOLISM-GIVES THE HINT OF HIDDEN
MEANING
-PEACOCK- CHRISTIANITY
-POMEGRANATE-RESURRECTION
-DOVE-HOLYSPIRIT
•ALLITERATION-CREATE THE FLOWING SONGLIKE RHYTHM
-Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
•USE OF IMAGERY- MAKE THE POEM MORE INTERE
STING
-RAINBOW SHELL,HALYCON SEA AND BENT WITH THICKEST FRUIT
STRUCTURE
• Written in IAMBIC TETRAMETER where soft and
unstressed beat is followed by strong and stressed
beat. It creates a song like rhythm
-My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
• End of every second line in second stanza rhyme.
-Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
• Poem is splitted into different stanza at the end of 8th
line.
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My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.
-----------------------------------Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.
This build up the tension. The writer wanted to show how
long she waited for her love
THEME
• HAS A STRONG RELIGEOUS THEME
• CAN BE INTERPRETED IM MANY DIFFERENT WAYS BUT THE
WRITER’S ORIGINAL INTENSION WAS TO TELL THE JOY OF
MEETING JESUS.
- THE METAPHORS USED IN FIRST STANZA IS COPIED FROM
BIBLE, THE BOOK OF SONG OF SONG
• THE THEME OF POEM SPLIT IN TWO PARTS.
1. FIRST STANZA IS ABOUT HOW HER RELATIONSHIP AFFECT
HER AND HER EMOTION.
2. SECOND STANZA TELLS ABOUT WHAT WILL HAPPEN AND THE
ARRIVAL OF HER LOVE
ANALYSIS
• FIRST STANZA
-My Heart=Singing Bird
Singing Bird= Symbol of romantic poem, showing it’s her love song
Nest in a Watered Shoot= Safe resting place. Shoot not full grown
plant, symbolizing future potential
-My Heart=Apple tree
Apple tree symbolize Garden of Eden before the Fall-no worries
Boughs bent with thickest fruit=tells her emotional state is at her best
-My Heart=Rainbow Shell that paddles in Halycon sea
Rainbow shell=oyster
Word HALYCON was originated from Greek myth, they believed that
Kingfisher build its nest on Oyster shell floating a calm sea. Explaining
her feeling
-My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.
The Climax of first stanza revealing about her love.
“Because my love is come to me” not past tense shows that it’s
everlasting joy.
• SECOND STANZA
- Dais= platform used in Anglican church
Silk=expensive fabric extracted from silk worm
Down=expensive fabric from baby animals
Vair= very expensive fur from samll rodents
Purple dye= was very rare at that time, only used by priests and royals
It shows how important her love is
-Pomegranate= Resurrection of Jesus
Peacock= Christianity
Thousand eyes= attention and thrill.
Tells that her love is not toward the human being but Jesus. And she
explains how exciting and thrilling her love is
-Gold and Silver Grape= the Gold and Silver are expensive
and symbolize purity
Fleur-de-ly= flower from Lily. Often carved into the soldier’s
armor and shield as the symbol of royalty.
It explains about the royalty and purity of her love toward
the Jesus
-Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.
The poem ends with the phrase implying the joy of her birth
day but it’s not physical birthday but spiritual.
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