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Elizabeth Barrett Browing

4 Pages 1053 Words

Elizabeth Barrett Borrowing's personal life in her Poetry

Elizabeth Barrett Browning is a great poet who has had a hard

life. Barrett Browning was born in 1806 and was the oldest of

twelve children. Her mother died, in 1828, when Barrett Browning

was 16 years old, so that left her father to raise the children.

Her father was over protective and did not want any of his

children to marry. At the age of 15, Barrett Browning had a back

injury and became very sick, and this kept her room bound for

many years.

During this time Barrett Browning started writing poems, and

became the famous poet that we know today. One day, in 1844, she

received a letter from another poet Robert Browning, about her

poetry. At this time Barrett Browning was in her forty’s, and has

been in her room for years, but she did respond. They continued

writing back and forth, and eventually the letters lead into a

meeting, and the two fell in love. And without Mr. Barrettes

consent the two married.

Sonnets for the Portuguese is a set of 44 famous love poems

written by Barrett Browning about Robert. Many poems in this

collection question the love he has for her, and the love that she

has for him. They answer the questions of why or even how can

one love the other. This love that she is experiencing is one

that she has never felt before. Each poem shows how the

relationship that these two lovers had developed.

Each sonnet is fourteen lines and written in iambic

pentameter. There are eight lines in each sonnet where Barrett

Browning poses a question, and then the next six lines resolve her

question. The rhyme scheme for these lines is abba, for the first

eight, and then cde or cdc, for the next six.

Sonnets XLIII is the first poem where she says I love you,

and we see this in the first line “How do I love thee? Let me

count the way...

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