Sonnet 43 By Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sonnet 43By Elizabeth Barrett BrowningNick, Andhika and Aaron.
Elizabeth BrowningElizabeth Barrett BrowningBorn(1806-03-06)6 March 1806Kelloe, Durham, England Died29 June 1861(1861-06-29) (aged 55)Florence, Italy
Sonnet 43 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.
SummaryShe is trying to describe the abstract feeling of love by measuring how much her love means to her. She also expresses all the different ways of loving someone and she tells us about her thoughts around her beloved. The tone of the poem is deep, in a loving way.
Literary Devices usedThe dominant figure of speech in the poem isanaphora: the use ofI love theein eight lines andI shall but love theein the final line. This repetition builds rhythm while reinforcing the theme. (Anaphora) It is a type of expression whose reference depends on another referential element. E.g., in the sentence 'Sally preferred the company of herself', 'herself' is an anaphoric expression in that it is coreferential with the expression in subject positionAlliterationthee,the (Lines 1, 2, 5, 9, 12).thee, they (Line 8)soul,sight (Line 3)love,level (Line 5)quiet,candle-light (Line 6)freely, strive, Right (Line 7)purely,Praise (Line 8)passion,put (Line 9)my,my (Line 10)love,love (Line 11)With,with (Line 12)lost,love (Line 12)but,better (Line 14)
These repetitions build rhythm while reinforcing the theme.
Significance of the poemThee -Refers to the poets husband, Robert BrowningWhen . . . Grace: -when my soul feels its way into the spiritual realm (out of sight) -to find the goal of being alive and living uprightlyBy sun and candlelight -refers to night and day
Significance of the poemFreely: she loves him willinglyand just as intensely as men who fight for freedompurely: she loves him genuinely, without desire for praise.with . . . saints: with a childlike fervor for saints and holiness that Iseemed to lose when I grew older.Smiles . . . life: their love is perhaps too sentimentalI shall love the better after death this implies that their love is eternal, never ending