How Do I Love Thee?

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Her father in particular oppressed her and wouldn't allow her to marry. There were no romantic relationships in her life by all accounts. She must have been driven to the point of willing herself dead. Little wonder that when Robert Browning came along she was given a new lease of life.


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In contrast her childhood had been a happy one and it's this she refers to in the second half of line ten. A child's faith is pure and innocent and sees fresh opportunity in everything. Turning to religious feelings in line eleven , the speaker refers to a lost love she once had for the saints - perhaps those of the christian church, of conventional religion. Or could she be looking back at the saintly people in her life, those she held in great regard and loved? She suggests that this love has now returned and will be given to her husband.

In fact so stirred up is she with these innermost feelings she goes on to say in line twelve, with just a dash to separate - this returned love is her very breath. Not only that, but the good and the bad times she's had, is having, will have - this is what the love she has is like. It is all enveloping.

And, in the final line, if God grants it, she'll carry on loving her husband even more after she dies. To comment on this article, you must sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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  • As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so. Andrew Spacey more. Take this excerpt from Elizabeth in , near the time of their elopement: 'For I have none in the world who will hold me to make me live in it, except only you - I have come back for you alone 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 freely, as men strive for right.

    I love thee purely, as they turn from praise. 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. Line By Line Analysis Lines This sonnet helped kick-start many more on the theme of modern Victorian love, from a woman's perspective.

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    Lines The speaker, the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning continues with her passionate need to differentiate the many ways her love for her husband manifests. Lines The sestet starts at line nine. So her love will go on and on, beyond the grave, gaining strength, transcendant. Sources The Hand of the Poet, Rizzoli, www. Sign In Join.

    Featured Poem: How do I Love Thee by Elizabeth Barrett Browning - The Reader

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    How Do I Love Thee by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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    How Do I Love Thee? - Poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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    You can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. And it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him [and her]. Wherefore, … pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons [and daughters] of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; … that we may be purified even as he is pure.

    As in everything, Christ is the only one who got it all right, did it all perfectly, loved the way we are all to try to love. But even though we fall short, that divine standard is there for us.


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    • And as we speak of this, may I remind you, as Mormon explicitly taught, that this love, this ability, capacity, and reciprocation we all so want, is a gift. Not only are answers found in Christ, but so is the power, the gift, the bestowal, the miracle of giving and receiving those answers. In this matter of love, no doctrine could be more encouraging to us than that. I have taken for a title to my remarks Mrs.

      How do I demonstrate it, how do I reveal my true love for you? Browning was correct. In outlining ideal love in which Christ, the most unselfish man who ever lived, is the great example, it is not surprising that this scriptural commentary starts here.

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      There are lots of limitations in all of us that we hope our sweethearts will overlook. These cost us nothing, and they can mean everything to the one who receives them. True love blooms when we care more about another person than we care about ourselves. Love is a fragile thing, and some elements in life can try to break it. Much damage can be done if we are not in tender hands, caring hands.

      To give ourselves totally to another person, as we do in marriage, is the most trusting step we take in any human relationship. No serious courtship or engagement or marriage is worth the name if we do not fully invest all that we have in it and in so doing trust ourselves totally to the one we love. The very nature of the endeavor requires that you hold on to each other as tightly as you can and jump in the pool together.