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Elizabeth Barrett Browning
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Sonnets from the Portuguese

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  7,901 ratings  ·  153 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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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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)

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
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 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.
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 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: poetry
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
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
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
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
Doua AlJber
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.
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!"
Luis Branco
It is a beautiful composition of poetry! I have a particular taste for thepoetry and it is sad the today it is not that common, but I am thankful for XVIII AND XIX centuries poets!
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
Her sonnets, particularly the ones from her courtship, make me unexplainably happy!
Probably about ninety-eight percent of the symbolism was lost on me. I might have gotten more out of her poems if I had read an edition with footnotes, but I doubt that would have made me like them much more.

There are a lot of Victorian writers I love, and sentimentality isn't something I shy away from easily, but here it was so extreme I just found it off-putting. The language is almost aggressively Victorian, so so mushy, sugary and sweet. I liked Sonnets from the Portuguese better than the r
Elizabeth Barrett Browning is my homegirl.
Patricia Franz
This book started my love for poetry.
As far as literature goes, this was probably one of the best.

Meaning was straight forward and her words weaved an intricate story, raw with emotion and relevancy to the time period and context it was written in.

Now before I get all mushy, I feel I have to address the repetition of love which was drab and grueling at times.

I love thee!

I cannot express my love to thee!

I love thee with a passion!

How do I tell thee?

What if I love thee too quickly?

I will love thee after death!

We get it, YOU LOVE
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
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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...
Aurora Leigh Selected Poems Love Poems of Elizabeth and Robert Browning Sonnets from the Portuguese and Other Poems  The Complete Poetical Works

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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.” 71 likes
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