First time he kissed me, he but only kissed The fingers of this hand wherewith I write; And, ever since, it grew more clean and white.
– Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Elizabeth Barrett Browning was one of the most eminent English poets of the Victorian era. Elizabeth Barrett was home schooled and started writing poetry from the tender age of six. Her earlier poems were compiled by her mother which is now one of the largest collections of juvenilia by any English poet. Her poetic form comprises of lyric, ballad and narrative, with references to religious beliefs, historical events and political opinions of those times. Her verse was innovative and challenging which got her serious consideration as a successor to the post of Poet Laureate William Wordsworth after his death. Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s sonnets from the Portuguese are best known for the love story between herself and poet Robert Browning. She redefined the boundaries of a female Victorian poet.
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 every day’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 l …Read more »