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Sonnet 43 - How do I love thee? Let me count the ways Analysis

Author: Poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning Type: Poetry Views: 7744

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Sonnets from the Portuguese1850XLIIIHow do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.

I love thee to the level of everyday's

Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;

I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints,-I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life!-and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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this is a poem about the love a woman has for a man and the legnths she will go for her true love.

| Posted on 2011-04-11 | by a guest

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It is perhaps that the \'visibility\' of the poem becomes less \'opaque\' when its history is understood. Elizabeth had a tyrannical Father who would mistreat her terribly. She was very weak through illness. Robert, a romantic certainly, upon finding her so, married her in secret after her father refused his permission and \'carried her off\' to Italy. Elizabeth almost certainly knew she was dying and subsequently the poem I believe personally is about Robert.

| Posted on 2010-12-03 | by a guest

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As much as this poem is filled with beautiful imagery, when one attempts to decipher the meaning of most of the poem from a reasonable point of view (for example, what is \"everyday\'s most quiet need\" or what is the \"love\" she seemed to lose with her lost saints and is it really of any value?). This poem is simply shrouded with tautology that makes no concrete sense. Does this then mean that love makes no sense itself? Despite this, we are given a very in depth description of what Browning feels love is... more than we can comprehend. It baffles us. It has no point yet it is driven by the strongest force known to man: passion. The fact that love has no point from her perspective means it is life eternal; for he who seeks a point for everything in life seeks death-the ultimate point. When Browning conflates love with a \"right\", she is not only outlining its importance, she is in a way saying the notion of loving someone is logical but the emotion itself is dionysian (instinctive). That\'s just what I think!

| Posted on 2010-10-20 | by TheChav

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This sonnet really takes the idea of love past the conventional feelings of mere attraction. She compares her love to spiritual, political and religious devotion and by her statement about love growing stronger after death, she brings in a metaphysical element that ties the work together nicely.

| Posted on 2009-06-09 | by a guest

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i had to do this for a project and when i hear it i see it more from a mail prospective then a women saying this things but it is a great poem.

| Posted on 2009-03-13 | by a guest

.: my thoughts :.

ok this is a beautiful poem of pure pathos. I believe the meaning is through her amplifacation of love and how much she loves her husband, who is also a poet. in her writting she wants the reader to feel how she feels and she tries to show the reader that true love is the most beautiful thing in the world and should be cherished by those who feel it. very classic romanticism theme.

| Posted on 2008-03-06 | by a guest

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