Sonnet #43
From the Portuguese
By: Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Elizabeth
Barrett
Browning
1806-1861
• Came from a large wealthy family.
• Had a set of poems titled “From the
Portuguese”
• She made them seem like translations
because it was very rare for a women to write
poetry back then.
• She didn’t think she would be respected for
writing her own poems, especially ones about
love.
Sonnet #43, From the Portuguese
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 in 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 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.
Activity
• Get in groups of 2-3, try to find as
many literary devices as you can.
• What do you think the theme of the
poem is?
www.petitelapgiraffe.com
Literary Devices:
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 in 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 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.
Theme
This poem has been taken
many different ways:
• Some say this poem was
written to her husband,
Robert, to express her
love for him.
• Others say this was
written to express the
love she had for her
Newfoundland dog.
• It could also be seen as
expressing endless love
and loving someone even
after death.
Modern Connections
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xxxLXQDQ
KI
“All that I’m after is a life full of laughter, as
long as I’m laughing with you. All that still
matters is love ever after, after the life we’ve
been through.”
The End`
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