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Analysis Of How Do I Love Thee By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

This post is to be looking at the love poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806-1861, titled: How Do I Love Thee?

The poem is about all the sacrifices a genuine lover can make for love; these sacrifices include: sacrifice of life (line 3-4) sacrifice of belongings or properties to meet lover's needs (line 5-6).

It further showed how someone in love can be; (line 7-10) which are free to criticism, pure as early water, naive as childhood faith, and so unconditional and for-better-for-worse (where smiles and tears will be shared ) and a love that goes beyond possibility (I shall but love thee better after death).

There are poetic devices/ figures of speech in the poem.
(1) Anaphora: The repetition of a phrase at the beginning of phrases, sentences, or verses. Elizabeth Barrett Browning made a lot of anaphora in the poem.
(2) Alliteration: The repetition of consonants at the beginning of two or more words immediately succeeding each other. In line 3, "My soul can reach when feeling out of sight", in line 9, "I love thee with the passion put to use", in line 11, "I love thee with a love I seemed to lose"
(3) Assonance: noun (plural assonances) The repetition of similar or identical vowel sounds (though with different consonants), usually in literature or poetry) "depth and breath" in line 2, "reach when feeling" in line 3.
Repetition: The act or an instance of repeating or words, lines, verses, being repeated. In the poem, words like"love" "breath", etc were repeated.

THE POEM: How Do I Love Thee?
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways
I love thee to the depth and breath 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-lighr.
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
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.

THE POET: Elizabeth Barrett Browning who authored "The Cry Of The Children" (1864) is an English poet of the Victorian era.

CONTINUE READING>>>

Samuel C. Enunwa aka samueldpoetry
(the Leo with wings flying)
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