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 Elizabeth Barrett (1806 – 1861) Robert Browning (1812-1889)

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Presentation on theme: " Elizabeth Barrett (1806 – 1861) Robert Browning (1812-1889)"— Presentation transcript:

1  Elizabeth Barrett (1806 – 1861) Robert Browning ( )

2   Both were famous poets before they ever met each other.  Elizabeth came from a very strict family – father forbade all five children of every marrying.  When Robert was 34 and Elizabeth 39, he fell in love with her poetry—and her—and began writing her letters.  The would meet in secret while her father was at work, and kept their relationship quiet!  Secretly eloped to Italy in 1846! – father disowns her. Famous Love Story

3   Elizabeth was an “invalid” – she was sick and was addicted to morphine for her entire life.  She has several miscarriages but finally gives birth to their only child when she is 43.  She publishes a book of poems – Sonnets from the Portuguese (Robert used to call her ‘my Portuguese’ because of her dark hair and complexion)  Her most famous sonnet is “How Do I Love Thee?” which becomes very popular.  She dies 12 years later at age 55. Famous Love Story

4  The grey sea and the long black land; And the yellow half-moon large and low; And the startled little waves that leap In fiery ringlets from their sleep, As I gain the cove with pushing prow, And quench its speed i' the slushy sand. Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach; Three fields to cross till a farm appears; A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch And blue spurt of a lighted match, And a voice less loud, thro' its joys and fears, Than the two hearts beating each to each! Meeting at Night Robert Browning

5  Escape me? Never-- Beloved! While I am I, and you are you, So long as the world contains us both, Me the loving and you the loth, While the one eludes, must the other pursue. My life is a fault at last, I fear: It seems too much like a fate, indeed! Though I do my best I shall scarce succeed. But what if I fail of my purpose here? It is but to keep the nerves at strain, To dry one's eyes and laugh at a fall, And, baffled, get up and begin again,-- So the chace takes up one's life, that's all. While, look but once from your farthest bound At me so deep in the dust and dark, No sooner the old hope goes to ground Than a new one, straight to the self-same mark, I shape me-- Ever Removed! Life in a Love Robert Browning

6  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 a 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. How Do I Love Thee? Elizabeth Barrett Browning


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