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Sonnets from the Portuguese and Other Poems

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  406 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Famed series of 44 love poems written to the poet's husband, Robert Browning, plus a selection of poems dealing with religion, art, ocial problems and political events. These include Consolation, The Cry of the Human, A Curse for a Nation, The Forced Recruit, To Flush, My Dog, and others. Alphabetical lists of titles and first lines.
Nook, 0 pages
Published by Neeland Media (first published January 1st 1954)
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Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bingo-2016, 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 having found love at all, of having been rescued from what she
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 rea ...more
Erik Kalm
Mar 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-writers, poetry
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 breathtaking bits
Venus Blancia
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 ...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
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 lovest!' Who can fear
Too many stars, though each in heaven sha
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
May 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 Rînceanu
I liked reading this out loud a lot, but nothing beats this recording of Sonnet 43 by Dame Judy Dench:
Anna Holden
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I simply cannot say enough great things about Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
3.5 stars
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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,
A creature might forget to weep, who bore
Thy comfort l
Victoria Young
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 'B
Jason Kirk
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
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 Browning and th
J.M. Hushour
Nov 17, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I realize I'm in a stark minority here and am opening myself up to livid excoriation if not simple, outright literary exile and castration, but these poems are just terrible. They are bad. Even for the time, they are bad. I read a lot of poetry, especially from this time period, and these are just, well, I'll say it again, bad.
Contrite and cold, there is little original here. Browning seems to strike out on several different opposing paths, juggling faith and some sort of odd romantic trajectory
Bill Keefe
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all-time-favs
I can't wish that I had read these earlier. It wouldn't make sense. But reading them now, well into life, I am well reminded of all the things I've turned away from in my life and wonder just how many could have made such an impression, had such an impact on me as these poems.

This was discovery in all its splendor! She writes so you want to read, so you beg to read, so you long to read more and more, and then again. I'd read one, then another, then read the first. I'd read them for comprehension
Angélique (Angel)
3 1/2 Stars. In high school, I considered Browning one of the most interesting poets my English teacher forced me to read, so I picked up this book to see if I could still appreciate her work all these years later. While I won't be adding her to my current list of beloved poets, I can say that I enjoyed several of her poems, especially Sonnets from the Portuguese which include some of my favorite verses on love ever written. Despite the fact that her style and overly Christian writing framework ...more
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We leave the communing of men,
The murmur of the passions,
And live alone, to live again
With endless generations:
Are we so brave?—The sea and sky
In silence lift their mirrors,
And, glassed therein, our spirits high
Recoil from their own terrors.
Be pitiful, O God!

We sit on hills our childhood wist,
Woods, hamlets, streams, beholding:
The sun strikes through the farthest mist
The city’s spire to golden:
The city’s golden spire it was,
When hope and health were strongest,
But now it is the churchyard gra
Noelle VanVleet
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: printed-books, poetry
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
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Elizabeth Browning was one of the foremost Victorian poets, and there's no question about her skill. 'Sonnets from the Portuguese' however, famous and lovely as they are, eventually become a little tiring. Let's face it, there's so many 19th century love poems about the same person one can read before getting bored. Yes, you love Robert Browning and oh how surprising and delightful, he loves you back even if you can scarcely believe it. Ok.
Mar 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buffy
This is a little deeper than my usual reading but of course I don't usually read poetry. It's like walking into someones heart and taking a look at all the facets of their soul, exciting, enthralling, and still leaves you feeling uncomfortable like I just heard something I wasn't suppose to. At it's heart this is a poem to someones lover and covers all the sorrow and grief of realizing that a great love is doomed.
Barrett Browning's sonnets are beautiful and lyrical. The way they trace the course of a romance is touching and fascinating. I'm not sure what else I could add to the previous reviews which already trace the story of their creation. (My personal favourite is VII)

Her following poems are spirited and I always feel that one really gets a sense of the woman who created them. They add to the narrative of the sonnets and reveal different facets of the writer.

Rhonda Browning White
Browning's poetry touches upon romance, religion, the status of women in society, psychology, and politics. My favorite poem in the book is the first, titled "The Sleep," in which she alludes to God as the greatest Lover, in that He gives us the most perfect gift we could receive, which is peaceful rest.

Recommended to my poet friends.
Silvia Reis
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love poetry and Sonnet 43 is one of my lifetime favourites. Yet, it is interesting reading the book not only for the obvious love poems and seeing that Elizabeth B. Browning was a real lady with very interesting thoughts on social and even cultural problems.

The poems dedicated to George Sands and to the Children are very modern.
Dec 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
All these sonnets are beautiful & many are very profound as well. Contridictory to the common belief that the subject of each sonnet is romantic love, these poems have a fairly wide array of messages and tones. Overall, brilliant.
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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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“What I do, and what I dream include thee, as the wine must taste of its own grapes.” 28 likes
“If I leave all for thee, wilt thou exchange
And be all to me?”
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