Sunday 28 July 2013

Sunday 28th July 2013 - A Birthday - Christina Rossetti

image from

This is one of the most joyous poems that I know.
 I've copied and pasted it from here: which is a good website for looking up poems.

A Birthday    Christina Rossetti 1830–1894

 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.

I just love the air of spontaneity (I bet it took a longish time to achieve that!) and rush and running around madly in an orchard, and the way she looks for the grandest words and things she can think of in the second verse. Nothing as coarse or as obvious as diamonds and jewels, more like "heaven's embroidered cloths" and flourishes and palanquins (what's a palanquin? sounds good anyway). This is a howdah, which is not the kind of sound I wanted, but probably the sort of thing I'm thinking of. It goes on top of an elephant. That's another good sounding word.
Hathi Howdah or Elephant seat in the Mehrangarh Fort Museum.
Wikipedia commons

Here's a palanquin; turns out it is an Asian version of a sedan chair:

Kumagai on the Kisokaido, ukiyo-e prints by Keisai Eisen
Wikipedia commons

1 comment:

  1. Simply lovely! Began my day with a smile. Thank you!