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Sonnets from the Portu...
 
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Elizabeth Barrett Browning
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Sonnets from the Portuguese

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  7,278 ratings  ·  155 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...more
Hardcover, 0 pages
Published December 12th 1988 by Random House Value Publishing (first published 1850)
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Christy B
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
...more
Lucy
XXIII
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--
But...so 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...more
Marts  (Thinker)
Dec 08, 2009 Marts (Thinker) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Poetry lovers
Shelves: audio-books, 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)

Erik Kalm
What can I add to:

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 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...more
StoryTellerShannon
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?
Shauna
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
Ex
...more
Elizabeth
All of the emphasis on her poems of love, such as "how do I love you, let me count the ways" are offensive to me because this is a woman who was much more than a wife and lover to her poet-husband. I think that the emphasis on these writings to her husband, was a mechanism in her time for relegating her to the "proper" role for a woman poet, rather than recognizing that she stands alone at that time period (and I believe even greater than her husband Robert Brownning) as a great poet among both...more
Debbie Robson
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.
http://budurl.com/CPSaleAmazon
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...more
Erin
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
Noran Miss Pumkin
Mar 24, 2008 Noran Miss Pumkin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Angelique
(This is not exactly my edition - mine is brown but otherwise looks identical.)

While most literary histories exclude Elizabeth Barret Browning while praising her husband, Robert Browning, it was interesting to discover that he only became famous after getting to know and to love her. It is sad that Elizabeth today stands in his shadow - or so it seems to me at least - because there are some fine poems in this collection that showed me that she really was great woman. I especially liked the excer...more
Rhonda Rae Baker
Beautiful poetry...love 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...more
Ann Santori
Beautiful, but SO depressing. I can't understand (well, I can, but it's a long, feminist kind of understanding) why people read this and think, "Wow, that's love!" Barrett Browning writes into each sonnet how lucky she is to be loved -- a supposed privilege she doesn't deserve because of her invalid status and advanced age (she was six years older than Robert Browning, to whom the sonnets are written). Her entire self-worth is wrapped up in Robert's approval and that doesn't make me think "love,...more
Erin
I found this book on the streets of San Francisco, Fishermans Warf in September of 2006. Funny enough, I've never sat to read it. Now I will. Oh my, beautiful, simply that, beautiful. Some struck me so deeply that I read them over and over, gleaning new emotions each and every time. Her life was bleak before love, it became bright and everlasting in love. Even as I write this I'm smiling, a playful, saucy smile that I can't seen to whipe from my lips. A beautiful collection of poems that we all...more
Cheryl in CC NV
I had this in my purse so I'd read a poem or two at a time over the course of months, only when caught unexpectedly idling. That was good, because this is not something you'd want to read straight through or with any haste. I was able to watch as the maiden cycled irregularly through infatuations and insecurities and passions. Some allusions were definitely too obscure for me - but I liked this edition and I am satisfied with my appreciation of it.
J. Alfred
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.
Syl
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
Jenna
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
Kari
Mar 28, 2008 Kari rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jason Kirk
"If thou must love me, let it be for nought / Except for love's sake only." While a contemporary cynic could easily rephrase this as "No more drama" or "You don't own me," my hopeful side hears this delicious ribbon of poetry from Elizabeth Barrett Browning's classic "Sonnets from the Portuguese" as one of the most limpid lyrics to celebrate love's potential purity in all of English verse.

And there's plenty more on tap in this canonical series of love poems, which -- although they wear their age...more
Jamie
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.
Lisa
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.
Carolyn F.
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.
Jenny Vegas
Beautiful collection of poems. Romantic in the most old school, traditional kind of way.

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 chil
...more
Judith Kristen
Dec 17, 2008 Judith Kristen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: romantics


What I do and what I dream include thee... as the wine must taste of its own grapes.



She knew love.
Raghad Khamees
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...more
Julianne
Her sonnets, particularly the ones from her courtship, make me unexplainably happy!
Jessica
Elizabeth Barrett Browning is my homegirl.
Patricia Franz
This book started my love for poetry.
Noelle VanVleet
This is a beautiful collection of sonnets and poems. The sonnets contain some of the most beautiful language, but the extra poems at the back of the book are funnier and more light-hearted. E.B.B. was very self-deprecating, due to her illness and probably also to her relationship with her father which strongly influenced her. I feel like her impressions of love would have been more well-rounded if she had come to a realization of how much she had to offer to Robert and that she had in fact, earn...more
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Elizabeth Barrett Browning was one of the most respected poets of the Victorian era.
More about Elizabeth Barrett Browning...
Aurora Leigh Love Poems of Elizabeth and Robert Browning The Complete Poetical Works Aurora Leigh and Other Poems How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways. Love Poems Of Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” 1528 likes
“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.”
574 likes
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