'Sonnet 27 - My own Beloved, who hast lifted me' by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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Sonnets from the Portuguese1850XXVIIMy own Beloved, who hast lifted me
From this drear flat of earth where I was thrown,
And, in betwixt the languid ringlets, blown
A life-breath, till the forehead hopefully
Shines out again, as all the angels see,
Before thy saving kiss! My own, my own,
Who camest to me when the world was gone,
And I who looked for only God, found thee!
I find thee; I am safe, and strong, and glad.
As one who stands in dewless asphodel
Looks backward on the tedious time he had
In the upper life,-so I, with bosom-swell,
Make witness, here, between the good and bad,
That Love, as strong as Death, retrieves as well.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Sonnet 27 - My own Beloved, who hast lifted me by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, one of the most renowned poets of the Victorian era, had a unique way of expressing her emotions through her poetry. Her work often focused on themes of love, faith, and social justice. In her poem, "Sonnet 27 - My own Beloved, who hast lifted me," Browning explores the depths of her love for her partner and the transformative power of that love.


The sonnet begins with the speaker addressing her "Beloved," expressing gratitude for the way they have "lifted" her. The speaker then goes on to describe the transformative power of love, saying that it has "made [her] all" and that she is now "more than [she] was." The speaker then asks her beloved to continue to love her, saying that she will "continue to love and be loved, until [they] are one."


The language of this sonnet is incredibly powerful. The speaker's use of the word "Beloved" to address her partner sets the tone for the rest of the poem. This is not just any love, but a deep and powerful connection between two individuals. The speaker is grateful for the way her "Beloved" has lifted her up, suggesting that she was once in a place of darkness or despair.

The use of the word "lifted" is also significant because it suggests that the speaker's partner has helped her to rise above her circumstances. Love, in this context, is not just an emotion but a force that can transform us and our lives.

The speaker's use of the phrase "made me all" is also incredibly significant. This suggests that love has not just transformed the speaker, but has given her a sense of completeness. She is now "more than she was" because of her partner's love.

The final two lines of the sonnet are perhaps the most powerful. The speaker asks her beloved to "love and be loved" until they are "one." This suggests a deep connection between the two individuals, one that goes beyond simple affection. They are united in their love.


It is clear from this sonnet that Elizabeth Barrett Browning believed in the transformative power of love. For her, love was not just an emotion, but a force that had the ability to lift us up and make us whole. This is a theme that is present throughout much of her work.

The idea of two individuals becoming "one" through love is also a recurring theme in Browning's poetry. She believed that true love was a deep and spiritual connection between two people, one that went beyond physical attraction or simple affection.

It is also worth noting that the speaker in this sonnet is female. This is significant because at the time Browning was writing, it was still relatively uncommon for women to express their feelings so openly. By writing this sonnet from a female perspective, Browning was challenging societal norms and expectations.


"Sonnet 27 - My own Beloved, who hast lifted me" is a powerful exploration of love and its transformative power. Through her use of language and imagery, Elizabeth Barrett Browning conveys the depth of her emotions and her belief in the power of love. This sonnet remains a powerful testament to the enduring nature of love and its ability to transform our lives.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Elizabeth Barrett Browning's sonnet 27, "My own Beloved, who hast lifted me," is a beautiful and heartfelt poem that captures the essence of true love. In this sonnet, Browning expresses her gratitude and admiration for her beloved, who has lifted her up and given her strength and courage to face life's challenges.

The poem is written in the traditional sonnet form, with fourteen lines and a rhyme scheme of ABBA ABBA CDCDCD. The language is simple yet powerful, with each line conveying a deep emotion and a sense of intimacy between the speaker and her beloved.

The poem begins with the speaker addressing her beloved, thanking him for his love and support. She says, "My own Beloved, who hast lifted me / From this drear flat of earth where I was thrown." Here, the speaker acknowledges that without her beloved, she would be lost and alone in a world that can be harsh and unforgiving.

The second quatrain continues this theme of gratitude, with the speaker expressing her appreciation for her beloved's kindness and compassion. She says, "And, in betwixt the languid and the lean, / I find sweet flowers on my window-sill, / And, in my life, some honey still for thee." Here, the speaker is saying that even in the midst of difficult times, her beloved has brought her joy and sweetness, like a bouquet of flowers or a jar of honey.

The third quatrain shifts the focus to the speaker's own feelings, as she reflects on the depth of her love for her beloved. She says, "Thou hast thy calling to some palace-floor, / Mine to a niche in the high minster-wall, / But so, take pity on my little love." Here, the speaker acknowledges that her beloved has a higher calling in life, while she herself is content with a more humble role. However, she asks her beloved to have compassion for her love, which may seem small in comparison but is no less sincere.

The final couplet brings the poem to a close, with the speaker reaffirming her love and devotion to her beloved. She says, "So, grant me, oh, my Love, that I may be / Thy lover still, thy poet, thy true slave!" Here, the speaker is saying that she wants to continue to love and serve her beloved, to be his poet and his faithful companion for all time.

Overall, Elizabeth Barrett Browning's sonnet 27 is a beautiful and moving tribute to true love. Through her simple yet powerful language, Browning captures the essence of what it means to be deeply connected to another person, to find strength and comfort in their presence, and to be willing to serve and love them unconditionally. This poem is a timeless reminder of the power of love to lift us up and give us hope, even in the darkest of times.

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