Summary and Analysis of Baby Cry by Christina Rossetti: 2022

About the Poet:

Christina Rossetti (5 December 1830- 29 December 1894) was an English writer who wrote a variety of romantic, devotional and children’s poems during her time. The sister of Pre-Raphaelite writer-artists, Dante Gabriel and William Rossetti, she was gifted with heights of creative powers. Although she was educated at home, it was by her mother who had studied well-known religious works, classics, fairy tales and novels of her time. Some of her most famous works include “Goblin Market” and “Remember”.

Introduction to Baby Cry:

Baby Cry is a short poem by Rossetti who is trying to soothe the crying of a baby by asking it to drink up the water in the cup and to quench its thirst. Her desire for having a child are sensed within the lines of the poem. It is a reflection of her inner desires that she expresses through a poem.

The setting of Baby Cry:

This poem is a perfectly short and well-versed rhyme by Rossetti that conveys her message to a crying baby. Rossetti writes this poem in an attempt to show her love for children and her concern towards their cries through this poem.

Style of Baby Cry:

Baby cry – (A)
Oh fie! – (A)
At the physic in the cup: (B)
Gulp it twice (C)
And gulp it thrice, (C)
Baby gulp it up. (B)

Summary of Baby Cry:

This poem deals with Rossetti’s deep desires of being a mother to a child. It is a six lined poem that Rossetti narrates to a child, requesting it to stop crying. She asks it to gulp down the liquid so as to quench its thirst and hence will have no need to cry. Rossetti tries to keep the crying child calm and this reflects her love for children.

Critical Analysis of Baby Cry:

The poem deals with Rossetti talking to a crying child, asking it to quench itself by gulping down the water in the cup that is given to it. Her patience and understanding towards a crying baby narrates her love and care for children. Her great wish for being a mother is indirectly expressed through this poem.

Central Idea of Baby Cry:

The entire poem revolves around the event of Rossetti trying to calm down a child who is crying. It is suggestive that the baby is crying out of thirst, as Rossetti asks it to drink up the water in the cup and eventually stop crying. It suggests that she cannot watch the baby cry and hence feels deeply about children.

The Tone of Baby Cry:

The poem begins with Rossetti asking attention from the crying baby to listen to her. She then asks it to drink up from the cup that it is presented with. The water will supposedly quench the baby’s thirst and hence make it stop crying altogether.


The poem is Rossetti’s short narration of an event with a child. She reflects onto this poem, the deep love and affection that she holds in her heart for children and also expresses her desire to be a mother to a baby which she would raise with a lot of kindness and patience.
Contributor: Deeksha Honawar

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