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Sonnets from the Portuguese and Other Poems

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  521 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Excerpt from Sonnets From the Portuguese, and Other Poems
In the very heart and center of our modern world of the nineteenth century there was enacted and immortally sung one of the most exquisite love-histories of which the world has knowledge. The marriage of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett has been well named "the most perfect example of wedded happiness in the hi
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Paperback, 55 pages
Published February 5th 1992 by Dover Publications (first published January 1st 1954)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  521 ratings  ·  51 reviews


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Sara
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I love poetry, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnet XLIII is a favorite:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Think about these lines

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.


This sonnet alone makes the volume worthwhile, but there is more, of course.

Much of her writing is in bewilderment at havin
...more
Julie Ehlers
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, poetry
Some works of literature are so vital, so beautiful, that they scarcely seem dated no matter how many years have gone by. Unfortunately, that was not the case with Sonnets from the Portuguese and Other Poems, at least not for me. The language, and, frankly, some of the sentiments felt so antiquated that it was impossible for me to get much from them. Eventually the sonnets did begin to flow a little better and a few of them impressed and even moved me, but it wasn’t quite enough to redeem my reading e ...more
Rae Diaz
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To some degree this book redefined the way in which I address the passion in my heart through the english language. There's passages with jovial phrases that are addictively repeatable through the power of meter and content. for example phrases like,

"Roses gathered for a vase."
"When I sue god for myself, he hears that name of thine, and sees within my ears the tears of two."
"fling thy purple round me, till my heart will grow too close against that heart henceforth to know
...more
Erik Kalm
Mar 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 m
...more
Kathleen
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, women-writers
Except for “How do I love thee …” (which I never particularly liked), I didn’t know much about Elizabeth Barrett Browning until I recently read Virginia Woolf’s little novel/biography Flush about EBB’s cocker spaniel. It softened my heart toward her, and made me want to give these a try.

Maybe it is common to have extreme reactions when reading poetry. I certainly did with these. Each poem either did nothing for me or took my breath away—nothing in between. Below are some of the breathtaki
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Venus Blancia
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
But before maybe the social attraction of Lang Leav and Michael Faudet, we had long surviving extraordinary love of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning. Sonnets from the Portuguese and Other Poems is an anthology of all Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poems, the poems of her little depressed life and great love to Robert Browning that only to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach. This work I believe is entirely out of love, and I only imagine what there in the world if love reigns.

My heart swe
...more
Silvia Cachia
I did like the Sonnets from the Portuguese, some revealed more to me than others. And this was just a first scratching of the surface. Reading them all in a short time, helped me immerse myself in her rhythm and style. Poetry may be hard for some of us, I believe, because we are in constant demand of meaning and logic. I find myself a faulty modern reader, not used to a poetic and more humble approach to reading. Taught in public schools, I got, for the most part, the utilitarian, scientific, an ...more
Hadrian
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: british, poetry
I love 43 too, but everybody quotes Sonnet 43. Here's 21:

Say over again, and yet once over again,
That thou dost love me. Though the word repeated
Should seem 'a cuckoo song,' as thou dost treat it,
Remember, never to the hill or plain,
Valley and wood, without her cuckoo-strain
Comes the fresh Spring in all her green completed.
Beloved, I, amid the darkness greeted
By a doubtful spirit-voice, in that doubt's pain,
Cry, 'Speak once more—thou lo
...more
Erin
Mar 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
William
May 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Not bad. I especially liked the "other poems". Sonnets were cool, but they weren't quite as Portuguese as I'd hoped. In saying Portuguese, I mean that I wanted to be transported back to Lisboa in a very deep personal way. I probably should have saved the 75 cents and not bought the second hand copy. All the same, the poems were nice to read at the beach. I liked walking through the water with my friends a distance off not paying any attention. I liked it.
Ana
I liked reading this out loud a lot, but nothing beats this recording of Sonnet 43 by Dame Judy Dench: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZ78X...
Anna Holden
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I simply cannot say enough great things about Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Sue
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-books
I don't read much poetry, but this collection makes me want to find everything Elizabeth Barrett Browning ever wrote. I loved this book. I recognized "How do I love thee" but didn't know any more of it or who wrote it. The first poem (The Sleep) grabbed me so completely that I intend to memorize it. I also loved her poem To Flush (her dog). Many times I find poetry too esoteric, but EBB's work is beautiful and easily understood.

If you need some joy in your life, pick up a copy of thi
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McKenzie Richardson
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

I really enjoyed this lovely collection of poems. Despite its age, so many of the emotions expressed still resonate today. The language used is phenomenal and the descriptions overall have the power to inspire the reader. I especially enjoyed Browning's pacing and rhyme schemes. A wonderful book of poetry.
James
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
The book and the sonnets both begin slowly. Frankly, I was bored through much of the book. But as the book and sonnets build they become much more intriguing, the language richer or truer--less of what now seems archaic to us--and more passionate. Personally, I believe I should rate this at 2 stars but I do hover between 2 and 3 and I dislike discouraging a reader with potential interest in this work.
Alex Roma
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There were a lot of lovely poems in here, but the title poem just grabbed my heart.
Gwendolyn Caithness Cameron
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lyrical, exquisite, timeless.
Jacklynn
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Lizbeth Marie
While I adore "Sonnets from the Portuguese", the "other poems" in this collection did not leave much of an impression on me.
Phanesia Pharel
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not my style. But good
Liisa
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
”Alas, I have grieved so I am hard to love. Yet love me — wilt thou?”
Danni
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thought that since valentines day was coming I would read some love poety. I love poetry it reminds me of my grandpa.
Neiha Khan
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
death and love - my two fave themes. I love EBB.
Nazire
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love, love, love Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Poetry!
Izzy
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
only giving this 4 stars because a curse for a nation saved it for me or this would have been 3 stars...idk just not my cup of tea poetry wise I can give or take most of the more romantic poem but really enjoyed curse quite a bit
Stu
Nov 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the introductory material to this edition documents, Elizabeth Barrett Browning suffered lifelong ill health, and her physical experience profoundly colors her poetry. We do not read here of vivacious passion; for love poetry, there is very little exploration of the body or anything that could be called eroticism. Rather, the poet describes a more agape conception of love, more philosophical and measured in its description. She is best known for the worshipful sonnet 43 (“How do I love thee? ...more
fee
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"If thou must love me, let it be for nought
Except for love's sake only. Do not say
'I love her for her smile ... her look ... her way
Of speaking gently, ... for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day'
For these things in themselves, Beloved, may
Be changed, or change for thee,--and love, so wrought,
May be unwrought so. Neither love me for
Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks dry,
...more
Victoria Young
Sep 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, victoriana
There are many lovely, rich pieces of verse throughout Sonnets from the Portuguese. They capture the paradoxical and alternating uncertainty and passion of a new love. I also enjoyed the poems extracted from some of EBB's other works, which have more varied themes and use a bit less of the stylisticarchaic language than the 44 sonnets.

Particular favourites were 'The Cry of the Children', XXIX 'I think of thee! -My thoughts do twine and bud', VI 'Go from me. Yet I feel that I shall stand', II 'But only thr
...more
Jason Kirk
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
"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 ver ...more
T. Renee Doty
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this gorgeous edition in a second-hand shop. It is absolutely beautiful! The pages are on a high quality, silky paper; the illustrations by Adolf Hallman are a bonus and enhance my reading experience.

I fell in love with the English Romantic poets when I was in high school. My English teacher spent a class period on them, but I couldn't get enough. I immediately checked out poetry collections by Wordsworth, Keats (my other favorite), Byron, ect. I even read a few by Robert Bro
...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 int
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“What I do, and what I dream include thee, as the wine must taste of its own grapes.” 31 likes
“If I leave all for thee, wilt thou exchange
And be all to me?”
20 likes
More quotes…