Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The Dover Design Sampler email this week features Valentine’s Day books.  This classic sonnet by Elizabeth Barrett Browning is from Great Love Poems (www.doverpublications.com). 

When I became interested in poetry, my mother began buying me classic works.  A book of sonnets by E.B. Browning, a book by Yeats, anthologies, and other books. Treasures. 

As many of you know, I am most comfortable with haiku and tanka.  I also believe in reading widely.  In the short forms, every word must especially “work” in the poemSometimes, after reading longer poems, I find I have just the right word in my mind for a haiku.  I have to keep “filling the well.”   If I feel I can’t write, reading and rest are the way back for me.

20 thoughts on “Elizabeth Barrett Browning

  1. A lovely poem. I recently took part in The Sketchbook Project, taking the theme ‘Along the Line’, illustrating lines from favourite poems. It was wonderful to discover and re-discover all those beautiful words 🙂

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    1. Thanks, Yousei! I want to get back to Emily Dickinson’s letters too. Thanks for adding classic haiku poets.

      Keats–truth and beauty. Haven’t read Tennyson, as least that I can recall now.

      I’ve read several of Shakespeare’s sonnets, but not the plays yet.

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      1. I recently check out a book of soliloquies from Shakespeare’s plays. I haven’t poked my nose into it yet, but it is on my nightstand waiting with a lovely bookmark on top. I adore his language. I don’t think there are many like him, but his plays really are better seen. I’d recommend renting or Netflix, if you can find it, Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing. It’s a comedy with several recognizable actors, and the verbal sparring is great.

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    1. Good morning, Margaret. We have a beautiful snowfall here–how about by you?

      Yes, the sonnets do read aloud so beautifully. I imagine you have written some!

      There are poems by Shakespeare and Edna St. Vincent Millay in the Dover Design Sampler this week too.

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      1. I’m another fan of Edna St. Vincent Millay! I was visiting a friend years ago in Camden, Maine, and was surprised and delighted to find a statue of her there. Ellen, you’ve given me an idea with what you said about finding the right word for a haiku in someone else’s longer poem…

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  2. Dear Jane Tims,

    Thank you for your comment, which connected with what I said about Robert Frost in my reply to Patti!

    Love the conversations on our blogs!

    And yes, reading! I could not write like some of the language-rich poets I read–for example, Luci Shaw–nor is that my goal, yet their work enriches mine. I’ve been reading Luci for decades.

    Wonderful to follow your posts about your great-aunt’s diary. Ellen

    http://www.lucishaw.com

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  3. Ellen,
    Thank you for sharing things about your life as a writer, that there are times you need refreshment, and how you find it. How wonderful that your Mother continued to think of you as her young daughter!
    Maria

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    1. Good morning, Patti, and thank you. I was a young woman when Mom gave me some of these poetry books, but in her mind, I was still her young daughter! She often spoke of Robert Frost too–admired his “natural word order” in his poems. A shared love of books sure is a nice sense of continuity across the years.

      Congratulations on beginning your second year of blogging! Ellen

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      1. Hi Ellen. I like Robert Frost too. There is no question that reading is a part of writing. I am always inspired by the way poets approach their work, the questions they ask and so on. Jane

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  4. Hi Ellen – I loved sitting in the Armstrong Browning Library on the Baylor Univ campus and reading these beloved poems. This library is filled with wonderful treasures from the Brownings and is such a lovely building. There is a virtual tour on line – check it out – I think you will enjoy it.
    Have a lovely day and thanks for reminding me of these wonderful poets!
    K

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    1. Hi Kathleen, Thank you. I’ve heard of Baylor Univ but not of this collection from the Brownings. If you have a moment sometime, please feel free to add the link to the virtual tour, in another comment. Ellen

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