A birthday - ImageryComment on the poet's use of imagery in her poem "A Birthday".

4 Answers | Add Yours

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The main image in the poem is the comparison between the speaker's heart and various positive things. For example, in line one the speaker's heart is "a singing bird" and in line 2 it is "an apple tree" (http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/174258), but her heart is also described as better than all of those things. In the old, she describes the "dais of silk and down" that she wants built, which is a metaphor for the arrival of her love.
carbovader's profile pic

carbovader | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

The poem carries a lot more deeper meaning than appears. It is actually a expression of the poet's joy at the return of her metaphoric lover. She has compared this happiness of her with many thing that portray beauty and love. The first stanza is a description of her mental state, the happiness that has overwhelmed her. However, the second stanza adopts a more practical tone, when she says how to welcome her love. In the first stanza, she has turned to nature for her descriptions, since its the most basic that can be percieved. In the second stanza, she turns to man-madd riches to decorate and welcome her lover.

BTW: any comments or criticisms are welcomed and appreciated ;-)

alisharox's profile pic

alisharox | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

The first stanza consists of transient images- images of things that will not last forever. Thus she says that the future of love is unpredictable, and yet her love is as sweet as a singing bird and apple trees etc. Also, the images of the first stanza suggest abundance, freedom, peace and calm, all of which are associated with love.

In the second stanza, she celebrates her love. There are numerous examples of royal and exotic imagery. For example, pomogranates are exotic fruits, and the colour purple, as well as the fleurs-de-lys are symbolic of royalty. Also, the images of the second stanza greatly contrast those of the first stanza. The second stanza is a description of a large dias( a permanant structure.) Another contrast is that the frist stanza has all simple images of nature, while the second stanza has images of man-made richness.

nicoledesilva's profile pic

nicoledesilva | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted on

In the first stanza, she just states that she is in love and her heart is gladder than all things in nature. In the second stanza, she uses a lot of exotic and royal imagery the celebrate her love.

We’ve answered 333,703 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question