How Do I Love Thee: a Love That Will Surpass Eternity

How Do I Love Thee: A Love That Will Surpass Eternity
Monique Walker
ENG 125 Introductions to Literature
Instructor: Paul Wiltz
June 02, 2014

Elizabeth Barrett Browning after falling in love with the poet Robert Browning wrote 44 sonnets entitled “Sonnets from the Portuguese”.   The 43rd sonnet is one of the most powerful love poems to date, it is entitled, “How Do I Love Thee” written about her complete love for her then husband Robert Browning. I will discuss this poem and the literary tool used to create it. Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote about a pure and complete love which speaks to the tone of the poem of happiness and love.

How Do I Love Thee: A Love That Will Surpass Eternity
The love affair between Elizabeth and Robert was against the wishes of her father. Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett shared the artistry of poetry and that art is what brought these two together. Elizabeth wrote a poem praising a piece of work created by Robert Browning and it caught his attention and that led to a continuing correspondence between them. The sharing of words in turn led to a strong, healing, and lasting relationship from which beautiful works flowed.
Elizabeth’s love for Robert evoked a collection of sonnets entitled “Sonnets from the Portuguese” which was the affectionate name he had for her (My Portuguese). In the title Elizabeth was essentially saying “to Robert from Elizabeth”. The collection of sonnets was published in 1850, four years after the two lovers eloped together.(Clugston, R. W. (2010) The 43rd sonnet from the collection is the poem I found engaging, it is titled “How Do I Love Thee” a romantic poem, in my opinion it is one of the most powerful love poems I have ever read.
In this sonnet Elizabeth was trying to describe the measure of love she felt for her husband, the different levels and feelings. The poem begins: “How do I love thee?”(Elizabeth Barrett Browning) This is a rhetorical question asked in the...