Sunday, March 20, 2011

Elizabeth's Browning's Sonnet 43

Elizabeth Barrett Browning describes her love for her husband in the sonnets from the Portuguese in a way that parallels the way in which their lives actually unfolded. The sonnets while being typical in their form are atypical in the manner in which the content is expressed. Although they follow the scheme of the Italian sonnet and are mostly written in iambic pentameter, they seem to be like a journal entry written in poetic form as opposed to abstract poetic language. She speaks of the love between her and her husband in a very spiritual way. Sonnet 43, one of Browning’s most acclaimed poems is the perfect display of this concept. As aforementioned, in the sonnets Browning speaks of her love for her husband and does so in an unyielding manner. It is a secret love due to the condition of her circumstances, living in an oppressive household, but it is a passionate one. In sonnet 43, the love between them seems to be a very spiritual love and in one manner that further helps to conceal her poetry’s true intentions.

She begins by counting the ways she loves her husband and states it in a manner that says her love for him is boundless. “I love thee to the depth, breadth, and height my soul can reach when feeling out of sight. She is revealing pieces of heart in a very vulnerable way but doing so through poetry make it even more vulnerable because it is for the world to see. She makes mention of her soul, ideal grace, right, praise, faith, saints, and passion. All of these words point to a spirituality that she is experiencing or exploring as she contemplates her love for her husband. In the sense of this poem in particular you can tell that she is more than an observer, she has experienced and she is speaking out of the deepest part of her being to relate to us a love that can only be compared to the love of God. She even makes reference to sacrifice and child like faith when she states “I love thee with the passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.” This is how the bible teaches love for one another and how to relate to God. 1 John 3:16-18 explains that we should lay down our lives for one another to show that we love one another and we also see that Jesus ask that we come to him with a pure faith and trust like a child in Mark 10:13-31. She takes the love that she has experienced with her husband and explains a very private and deep love in an open manner through relating it to her audience in a spiritual manner.

No comments:

Post a Comment