How do I love thee?

Ok… I’m temporarily lifting my self imposed love ban here. We can talk about love today, beautiful, glorious love for that matter, the kind that defies time, space and trials. The kind of love we all secretly long for.

One of my absolute favourite poems is sonnet 43 (how do I love thee?) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. She wrote this and other poems to Robert Browning before their marriage, their love story was tempestuous and I’ll definitely do a post on it pretty soon. I’m fascinated by the depth of the love she had for a man six years her junior (is six years too little to trigger a cougar alert?) and how gifted she was with words. She stripped their love to its bare essentials and perhaps created a part as good as the whole.

Sonnet 43
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 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.

A beautiful poem, innit?

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