Extract

A Birthday by Christina Rossetti

Bask in the beauty of Christina Rossetti’s poem, A Birthday, from the new poetry collection A Little, Aloud with Love, edited by Angela MacMillan

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.

 

A Little, Aloud with Love

Angela Macmillan

‘O tell me the truth about love.’ W.H. Auden

Many of the most popular works in the English language celebrate love in all its forms: that heady first flush, the agony of heartbreak, joyful reunions, the love of a parent for a child… And what better way to share these beautiful pieces than to read them aloud, to someone you love?

Research has shown that being read to makes us healthier and happier, it enriches our hearts and minds. Bring real pleasure with poetry and prose, favourites and new discoveries, especially chosen to be shared. Read ‘Our places by the fire place’ to a parent, ‘My love is come to me’ to a partner, ‘Most near, most dear’ to a child or ‘A need to reach out sometimes’ to a friend. Discover Haruki Murakami’s quirky take on love at first sight and, alongside it, enjoy the immortal wisdom of Walt Whitman.

‘Reading aloud is pleasure. Pure pleasure.’ Stephen Fry

‘Reading aloud is an activity that everyone can take part in. It sharpens the intellect, invigorates the imagination and enlarges the scope of human sympathy. If we all read aloud every day, the world would be a better place.’ Philip Pullman

The publisher is donating all royalties from this book to The Reader, the leading UK agency for reading and health.

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