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Not meaning to sound all old-fashioned, but I think it’s a crying-shame that men don’t write women sonnets anymore.
I’d bloody LOVE to have someone write me a sonnet (if you feel the urge to do so, DON’T HOLD BACK).
The following sonnet is one of my all time favourites (I even wrote my English Lit dissertation on it at uni).
Which is why I plan to have it read at my wedding one day.
What’s so glorious about this particular sonnet is that it was written by a woman – Elizabeth Barratt Browning – in the mid-1800s.
EBB was married to a very famous poet (Robert Browning who wrote ‘My Last Duchess’).
Now, their relationship has always fascinated me – mainly because it began by him admiring her poetry.
I’m not sure how much you know about the patriarchal society that was England in the 1800s, but this was definitely not how courtships usually went down.
Here’s the poem:
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.
Heard it before?
Either way, I implore you to stop what you’re doing immediately, go somewhere private and quiet and read it out loud - to yourself, for yourself.
Because the love that EBB speaks of does not have to be for another.
It can be for YOU.
I can almost guarantee that someone who loves themselves that passionately will not fail to attract more of the same from someone else.
And that’s my greatest wish for you.
I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU:
What’s your favourite love poem/ line of love poetry?
I’m a big old romantic, so I’d be delighted if you’d share it with me below <3