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Sonnets from the Portuguese (Insel-Bücherei #252)

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  9,764 Ratings  ·  214 Reviews
Elizabeth Barrett Browning was a prolific writer and reviewer in the Victorian period, and in her lifetime, her reputation as a poet was at least as great as that of her husband, poet Robert Browning. Some of her poetry has been noted in recent years for strong feminist themes, but the poems for which Elizabeth Barrett Browning is undoubtedly best know are Sonnets from the
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published August 15th 1986 by St. Martin's Press (first published 1850)
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Elizabeth Barrett wrote these 44 love sonnets during her courtship with poet Robert Browning. After their marriage he convinced her to publish them, calling them the best English language love sonnets since Shakespeare's day.

This is sonnet XXVIII, one of my favorites:

My letters! All dead paper, mute and white!
And yet they seem alive and quivering
Against my tremulous hands which lose the string
And let them drop down on my knee tonight.
This said--He wished to have me in his sight
Once, as a friend:
Christy B
Oct 03, 2009 Christy B rated it it was amazing
Christ. I don't even know what to say, here.

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 lo
Jun 01, 2013 Teresa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: g-poesia, n-inglaterra, e2
Elizabeth Barrett Browning escreveu estes 44 sonetos durante o namoro com o poeta Robert Browning. Neles expressa os seus sentimentos; sempre acompanhados pelos lamentos de não ser merecedora do seu amor, e pelos receios do futuro.
Para não expor publicamente a sua intimidade - e como tinham alguma semelhança com os sonetos de Luis de Camões (não sei onde mas enfim) - decidiu publicá-los com o título de Sonetos Portugueses (também ficava bem "O Fado da Desgraçadinha") para sugerir a ideia de se
May 15, 2007 Lucy rated it liked it
Is it indeed so? If I lay here dead,
Wouldst thou miss any life in losing mine?
And would the sun for thee more coldly shine
Because of grave-dumps falling round my head?
I marveled, my Belovèd, when I read
Thy thought so in the letter. I am thine-- much to thee? Can I pour thy wine
While my hands tremble? Then my soul, instead
Of dreams of death, resumes life's lower range.
Then, love me, Love! Look on me--breathe on me!
As brighter ladies do not count it strange,
For love, to give up acres
Marts  (Thinker)
Dec 07, 2009 Marts (Thinker) rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Poetry lovers
Shelves: poetry
I've got this in audio and thoroughly enjoyed listening. Its beautiful poetry, that 'stream of conscientiousness' flows within Browning's text.

Quote: "How do I love thee, let me count the ways, I love thee to the depth, breadth, and height, my soul can reach...." (Sonnet 43)

Jul 29, 2016 Matthew rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry

I thought once how Theocritus had sung
Of the sweet years, the dear and wished-for years,
Who each one in a gracious hand appears
To bear a gift for mortals, old or young:
And, as I mused it in his antique tongue,
I saw, in gradual vision through my tears,
The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years,
Those of my own life, who by turns had flung
A shadow across me. Straightway I was ’ware,
So weeping, how a mystic Shape did move
Behind me, and drew me backward by the hair;
And a voice said in mastery, while
Jan 08, 2012 Shauna rated it really liked it
Sonnets from the Portuguese first of all, não é útil se você quer praticar o português. This book will in no way prepare you for the ordering of a galão in some Lisbon café.
In fact, "portuguese" was a pet name Browning's (secret) husband used for her. The title also refers to the sonnets of the 16th-century Portuguese poet Luís de Camões; in all these poems Elizabethe uses rhyme schemes typical of the Portuguese sonnets.
Here is one of my favourites:

If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Noran Miss Pumkin
Mar 24, 2008 Noran Miss Pumkin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Noran by: highschool teacher miss penny
Shelves: poetry
How do i count the ways i love this books.....
i give this tome of poems instead of a wedding card. i used it when i started to date my husband, to introduce him to the beauty of poetry. he is a computer geek and had never read for personal enjoyment, before meeting me. in fact, reading a passage in a 1850's journal moved to such emotion, he popped the question to me crying. i read this book at least annually.
the brides all love this instead of a card.
My ex girlfriend, Ashleigh, gave this to me years ago, before she was forced by her family to marry this guy. Long story but she sent this book to me and signed the inside.

Next to Shakespeare, this is the most bittersweet and poetic
poems of love that I have ever read.

It was said that a husband and wife team wrote these so one can only imagine how passionate their marriage was, huh?
Nov 17, 2013 Carmen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
44 sonnets by the famous poet, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, chronicling her love for her husband, Robert Browning, from the time they met to their marriage. Of course, the most famous one is #43: “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Etc.” But there is much more than this often quoted sonnet here. A great collection to read and re-read.
Debbie Robson
Oct 25, 2010 Debbie Robson rated it it was amazing
This is one of the 52 books that feature in my novel Crossing Paths: the BookCrossing novel and I chose it before I had actually read the poems (by reputation alone). I'm so glad I did make this the centrepiece of the lovers' conversations through BookCrossing. There are some wonderful poems, especially sonnets VII, XVII and XXII.
Here is the journal entry from the novel for this book:
"My Darling, this book is for you. I have had it for some time now and never found
Dec 03, 2007 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I cannot express how lovely I find this collection of poems. Well constructed and beautifully written, it is among my favorite books of all time, probably my favorite collection of poetry. I'm partial to the sonnets as I find them traditionally romantic. I guess the conservative poet in me likes the meter and rhyme. When I first read this collection I was a third-year at UVA and was in major seduction with Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf and glossed by this treasure. Years later, I see what I co ...more
Raghad Khamees
Jun 27, 2014 Raghad Khamees rated it it was amazing
Go from me. Yet I feel that I shall stand
Henceforward in thy shadow. Nevermore
Alone upon the threshold of my door
Of individual life, I shall command
The uses of my soul, nor lift my hand
Serenely in the sunshine as before,
Without the sense of that which I forbore, ..
Thy touch upon the palm. The widest land
Doom takes to part us, leaves thy heart in mine
With pulses that beat double. What I do
And what I dream include thee, as the wine
Must taste of its own grapes. And when I sue
God for myself, He hear
Book Riot Community
Some of my English-major friends would probably dare to call me “lapsed.” I don’t read poetry as much as I used to, nor am I particularly drawn to the classics now that I don’t have to be. It’s even a little sad that I needed the excuse of National Poetry Month to pick up EBB again as she’s always been one of my favorites. I love the concept of this collection: sonnets she wrote, but purported to have translated from—you guessed it—the Portuguese. Just some of the loveliest love poetry you’ll ev ...more
Doua AlJber
Mar 01, 2015 Doua AlJber rated it it was amazing
How do I love thee let me count the ways, these sonnets played a major part of my transformation as person and I absolutely love it, highly recommend it to the people I love and if i ever fall in love I'm going to give the person I love this book.
Nov 04, 2015 Umnia rated it liked it
well , i HATE. the language actually , it's kinda Old , like real vintage !!
but yeah it's since the Victorian period so i'm gonna feel it not read it , and it's so deep ❤

here is my fav :))

"The face of all the world is changed , I think ,
since first i heard the footsteps of thy soul
Move still , oh , still , beside me , as they stole
Betwixt and the dreadful outer brink
Of obvious death, where I , who thought to sink ,
Was caught up into love , and taught the whole
Of life in a new rhythm , the cup
Rhonda Rae Baker
Beautiful Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways...

Robert Browning was so impressed with his wife's love sonnets that he urged her to make them public. He convinced her to share them with the world. To conceil the fact that they were love poems written for him, they came up with the nickname of "my Little Portuguese" which he called her, Sonnets from the Portuguese became the title.

These poems are beautiful beyond measure and one of my most favorite co
J. Alfred
Jan 21, 2010 J. Alfred rated it it was amazing
Remember how, in the Song of Songs, love is described as "strong as death"? Barrett Browning has a sequence of sonnets that begins with Love, personified as a god, being mistaken for Death. It is out of this world good. Some interesting other stuff as well, including especially her Cry of the Human, the refrain of which is "be pitiful, oh God!"
How do I love it? Let me count the stars.
Um, there are five. Five stars.
Mar 10, 2008 Kari rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Romantics!
These sonnets are really beautiful, and they are even more compelling if you know the love story of Robert and Elizabeth Barret Browning. The letters between the two poets really helps to englighten the reader to what Elizabeth Barret Browing was thinking during their courtship and what inspired her to write these awe-inspiring poems.
Oct 10, 2010 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must say that I was slow to warm up to the poems and don't think I would have liked them as well without having read the Introduction first. Lovely, very personal. You can really see the path of the love affair between EBB and Robert Browning.
Aug 10, 2009 Jamie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Best when paired with a romantic novel (I chose The Time Traveler's Wife) or read after a bright, sunny day spent with someone you're in love with.
Feb 23, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Would it be shallow to say that one of he things I really love about reading the classics I missed in school is all of those famous quotes in context. I feel like Cap - "I recognize that reference!"
Carolyn F.
Dec 07, 2013 Carolyn F. rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Isn't it terrible that I've never read these poems before, especially XLIII? The forward was very informative which was good because I was starting with no knowledge beyond trivia.
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways." - Sonnet #43 - read this with your lover...have a "How do I love thee?" poetry night...instead of the same old "movie night."
Nick Traynor
Jan 21, 2016 Nick Traynor rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookclublove
I really enjoyed this volume, more than I thought I would. The poems were passionate, some were romantic, and all had an intellectual depth.
Jun 19, 2017 George rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
«Αλλά… ξέρεις… εάν είχες εισέλθεις στην ‘κρύπτη’, πιθανώς να κρύωνες ή να εξαντλιόσουν μέχρι θανάτου», απαντά η Ελισάβετ Μπάρετ (ακόμη) σε γράμμα της στον Ροβέρτο της, τον ποιητή Μπράουνινγκ. The rest is history …and poetry. Και εισήλθε και παντρεύτηκαν και δεν εξαντλήθηκαν… και τα ποιήματα αυτής της συλλογής έγιναν τα πιο διάσημα, από όταν ο σύζυγός της πλέον την έπεισε να τα εκδώσει. Και η ίδια η Ελισάβετ κατόρθωσε μέσα στο αποπνικτικό κλίμα της ανδροκρατούμενης βικτωριανής εποχής να αναδειχθε ...more
N.J. Moeketsi
Dec 28, 2016 N.J. Moeketsi rated it really liked it
P. S.: The enduring charm of Elizabeth Barrett Browning Sonnets from the Portuguese is their ability to evoke universal sentiments of love with a spiritual edifying effect.
This book, unfortunately, has not stood up well to the test of time. And, frankly, there are a lot of things I do not much like about Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I do not much like the fact that she was a dog person (or the fact that her dog was a prissy-looking cocker spaniel rather than a fierce bull mastiff like Emily Bronte's pet dog, Keeper). I do not much like the sentimental bent of her Victorian religiosity. I do not much like the fact that she needed a man's help to escape from her cont ...more
Jun 21, 2015 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I had not expected this collection of love poems to be so melancholic. Although a degree of self-doubt and uncertainty goes along with any lover's thoughts, the tone here is of such low self-esteem, such self-recrimination that it strikes me that the poet was suffering from depression. But through the darkness, there are sparks of hope, that maybe love will come, will be true and will rescue.

In the end, the poet is redeemed and transformed by love, but it seems to have been a close-run thing.

Jul 21, 2014 Syl rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most delightful and beautiful pieces of literature ever written. These sonnets embody all the love and care a person feels for another and herself. The rhyme, the rhythm carry you away as you read them and there comes a time in which you just have to read them aloud to truly enjoy their beauty. Elizabeth Barret Browning, "The Little Portuguese", touched my heart early in my life and her story is one of my favorites. My favorite sonnets: apart form 42, there's also 21, 33, 38 a ...more
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Elizabeth Barrett Browning was one of the most respected poets of the Victorian era.

Born in County Durham, the eldest of 12 children, Browning was educated at home. She wrote poetry from around the age of six and this was compiled by her mother, comprising what is now one of the largest collections extant of juvenilia by any English writer. At 15 Browning became ill, suffering from intense head an
More about Elizabeth Barrett Browning...

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“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.”
“Quick-loving hearts ... may quickly loathe.” 88 likes
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