SONNETS FROM THE PORTUGUESE, #43 By Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-61)
(written c. 1845-6, published 1850)
How 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 candlelight.
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.
for American Literature; Romanticism
1. British poet E. B. Browning (1806-61) lived during
the Romantic and Victorian eras. How do the poem's themes or
narratives appear to
2. Compare "To My Dear and Loving Husband" two centuries earlier by
Anglo-American Puritan poet
Anne Bradstreet (1612-72). How are both
Romantic in the popular
(love) and literary (more) senses?
3. How may
Romantic poetry and thought
reinforce the modern social unit of the nuclear heterosexual family, or
vice versa? (Think in terms of a partner who is one's destiny, "the
one," etc.? How compatible with Abrahamic religions or modern