The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.
(Song of Solomon 2:12)

Birds returning in springtime and their song that greets the day has, since the most ancient times, been taken as a symbol of the human soul, spiritual longing, the joy of courtship, faithfulness, and the loving relationships of women and men. Their song mirrors the song in the hearts of lovers. Their flight mirrors the delight and freedom of being in love. Their faithfulness mirrors human aspiration.
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.
(Song of Solomon 2:12)

Birds returning in springtime and their song that greets the day has, since the most ancient times, been taken as a symbol of the human soul, spiritual longing, the joy of courtship, faithfulness, and the loving relationships of women and men. Their song mirrors the song in the hearts of lovers. Their flight mirrors the delight and freedom of being in love. Their faithfulness mirrors human aspiration.

© 2004, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Birds

Birds are one of the icons of Saint Valentine's Day.

Photo Credit: Musée Colby-Curtis
Marcus Ward Co.
c. 1860–1890
Silk fringe, colour printing, gold leaf, fold-out.
36,5 x 10,8 cm
2003.9.
© Musée Colby-Curtis-Société historique de Stanstead.


Learning Objectives

The learner will:

  • Explain how symbolism is used to represent romantic emotions in Valentine’s greetings
  • Describe the types of symbols traditionally used to represent feelings of love and affection

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