This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Saturday Rave: A Birthday by Christina Rossetti.

 Is happiness catching? Can a poem lighten a dreary day? Can it bring joy?

Read this and see.

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.


Well, it works for me.

Word To Use Today: vair. Vair is the heraldic word for a pattern used on shields to resemble squirrel fur. It's actually nothing like squirrel fur: 

illustration  by Zigeuner

but it's interesting, anyway. In French the word vair sounds the same as verre (which means glass) and this explains why, in the French story of Cinderella, her shoes don't shatter into pieces when she dances at her ball: they were actually made of squirrel-fur, and not glass at all.

Vair comes from the Old French, where it meant of more than one colour, from the Latin varius, variegated.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments are very welcome, but please make them suitable for The Word Den's family audience.