Christina Rossetti

Start Free Trial

What is the tone, theme, and four literary devices in Christina Rossetti's poem "What is Pink?"

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Christina Rossetti's poem "What is Pink?," the tone is that of a  cheerful expository poem. The speaker shares beautiful examples which are based on the interpretation of colors. While the speaker expresses the colors of nature, the reader is captured by the metaphorical expression based on concrete examples. No doubt, the speaker has experienced the awe and glory of colorful representations. For example, the 'yellow pear" represents the descriptive ripeness and mellowness and richness of the delicious fruit.

What is yellow? pears are yellow, 
Rich and ripe and mellow.

The theme of the poem is experiencing the delectable variation in the colors of nature. Each natural example is a phenomenal natural creation for the eye of the beholder. For surrounding observers, Rossetti describes the colors of nature through a childlike simplicity that can overwhelm the senses. 

Through the literary device of imagery, Rossetti simplifies the complex descriptions of the "pink rose, the red poppy, the blue sky, the yellow pear, the green grass, the violet clouds, and the orange orange." Rossetti appeals to the senses of the reader, causing a visual explosion of colors that represent the simple complexities of life. 

Questioning through repetition is a literary device that Rossetti uses to create a rhythmical flow in her poem. What is pink" What is red? What is blue. What is yellow? etc. In answer to the questions, the speaker uses simple sentences to create a lyrical flow. The reader enjoys the simple effectiveness of such a poem. The poem takes on a song-like representation. 

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial