The Rainbow

The Rainbow

The Rainbow” is the short poem by English poet Christina Rossetti, where she beautifully compare the manmade boats, ships and bridges to the natural beauty of the heaven called “The Rainbow”.

We all have seen a rainbow, one day or the other. In ancient times people believed it was the bow of Indra, The king of Gods. Some others said it was a bridge created by God to connect heaven and earth.

“The Rainbow” Poem Lyrics

Boats sail on the rivers,
And ships sail on the seas;
But clouds that sail across the sky
Are prettier far than these.

There are bridges on the rivers,
As pretty as you please;
But the bow that bridges heaven,
And overtops the trees,
And builds a road from earth to sky,
Is prettier far than these.

The poem consists of two stanzas, each of which contrasts natural beauty with man-made beauty. In the first stanza, Rossetti describes boats and ships that sail on rivers and seas, but notes that the clouds that sail across the sky are even more beautiful. This comparison suggests that natural beauty is more enduring and transcendent than the beauty that humans create.

In the second stanza, Rossetti continues this theme by contrasting bridges on rivers with the “bow that bridges heaven.” This is a reference to the rainbow, which arches across the sky and seems to connect the earth and the heavens. By describing the rainbow as a bridge that builds a road from earth to sky, Rossetti suggests that nature itself is capable of bridging the gap between the material and the spiritual.


Overall, “The Rainbow” is a simple and evocative poem that celebrates the beauty and wonder of the natural world. Its language is lyrical and its imagery is vivid, making it a powerful evocation of the beauty of the rainbow and the natural world more broadly.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ's) based on 'The Rainbow'

Answer : “The Rainbow” is the short poem by English poet Christina Rossetti.

Answer : “The Rainbow” by Christina Rossetti is a short ten-line poem that is contained within one block of text. The lines follow an interesting rhyme scheme that mostly depends on assonance, or vowel rhyme. The pattern is ABCBABDBCB.

Answer : The poet compares rainbow to a bridge that connects the earth and heaven. It looks like a very beautiful seven colored road from earth to sky. Rainbow is a very beautiful seven colors bridge formed by the god which connects earth to heaven.

Answer : Rainbows are actually full circles. Viewers in aircraft can sometimes see these circular rainbows. Viewers on the ground can only see the light reflected by raindrops above the horizon which form semi circle from the ground.

Answer : A rainbow is caused by sunlight and atmospheric conditions. Light enters a water droplet, slowing down and bending as it goes from air to denser water. The light reflects off the inside of the droplet, separating into its component wavelengths or colors. When light exits the droplet, it makes a rainbow.

Answer : The colors of the rainbow are Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet.

Answer : The Rainbow, is a short poem about the beauty of the sky and connection to the heavens through a beautiful rainbow. The speaker says the two prettiest things are clouds and rainbows. Rainbow is another name for the ‘bow that bridges heaven’. The rainbow is a connection between the god and the earth.

Answer : It is said as an imagination, the rainbow along with its seven colors forms due to the refraction of light through the water droplets. Its one end touches the earth and its circular.

Answer : No you cannot touch a rainbow because it’s not a physical object.

Some more details based on 'The Rainbow'

The poem begins with the speaker marveling at the sight of a rainbow, describing it as a “bower” or a shelter of color that spans the sky. She then reflects on the various colors of the rainbow, from red to purple, and how they blend together to create a harmonious and peaceful scene.

Rossetti uses vivid and sensory language throughout the poem to describe the beauty of the rainbow, such as “red as a rose is she,” and “gold as gold.” She also uses personification, such as when she describes the rainbow as “a child’s delight” and “a bride’s array.”

One of the notable features of the poem is its use of rhyme and meter. The poem has a simple, sing-song quality that makes it easy to remember and recite. This has helped to make the poem a popular choice for children’s poetry anthologies and collections.

It was first published in Rossetti’s collection “Sing-Song: A Nursery Rhyme Book” in 1893. The book was a collection of poems for children, and “The Rainbow” has become one of Rossetti’s most well-known and beloved poems.

In addition to its celebration of nature and the beauty of the rainbow, “Rainbow” also has spiritual and religious themes. Rossetti was a devout Christian, and her poetry often explores themes of faith and morality. In this poem, the rainbow is described as a “token” of God’s love and grace.

This poem has been set to music by several composers, including Ralph Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten. Vaughan Williams’ setting of the poem is a popular choice for children’s choirs and has been performed in concert halls around the world.

Some activities for children's based on 'The Rainbow'

Activity 1: Rainbow Scavenger Hunt

  • Before starting the activity, you may want to review the colors of rainbow and ask children to name some objects that are each color.
  • Provide a list of the colors in the order of rainbow to help children remember which colors to find. You may also want to provide a small bag or container for children to collect their items in.
  • After everyone has found their items, ask children to work together to arrange the items in the order of rainbow. You may want to provide a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard to display rainbow on.
  • As a group, discuss the colors of rainbow and what each color represents. You may want to ask children to share their favorite color and explain why they like it.

Note: This activity promotes color recognition and classification skills, as well as encouraging children to appreciate the beauty of the natural world.

Activity 2: Rainbow Craft

  • Before starting the activity, provide examples of rainbow crafts or show pictures of finished products to give children an idea of what they can make.
  • Provide a variety of materials for children to use, such as construction paper, scissors, glue, glitter, and markers. You may want to have a few templates or stencils available for children who need extra guidance.
  • Encourage children to be creative and experiment with different ways of arranging the colors. You may want to have them cut out small clouds or raindrops to accompany their rainbow.
  • Once everyone has finished their rainbows, ask children to share their creations with the group and explain what they like about their rainbow. You may want to display the rainbows around the classroom.

Note: This activity promotes fine motor skills and creativity, as well as encouraging children to appreciate the beauty of the natural world. It can also help children to practice following directions and working independently.

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