Poetry, they say, is a necessity in the language of love. Many of us have found verse in the midst of love or in its aftermath. I, however, avoided love poems, as I dread to sound trite or cliche. But many poets, if not all poets, have written a love poem; and in their capable hands nothing is cliche.
Today, I share with you a sonnet from Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I know only one of her poems: the well loved sonnet “How do I love thee, let me count the ways.” And so, when I found myself staring at a collection of sonnets written by her, I bought it and began to read it.
The poems in the collection “Sonnets from the Portuguese” were written from the year 1845 -1846. They were sonnets she wrote to Robert Browning during the length of their engagement leading to their marriage in 1846. Elizabeth Barrett Browning was hesitant to have these poems published as they were personal, but with her husband’s encouragement, she finally agreed. There was, however, a compromise and that was these poems were to be published as if they were translated from another language by her. She originally thought to call it Sonnets from the Bosnian, but her husband suggested she used “Portuguese” as this was his pet name for her.
While all the sonnets are wonderful and impressive, I chose one particular sonnet to share today because of its beauty and insistent voice. Thanks Cathy of Merely Day by Day for hosting today’s Poetry Friday. Happy Valentine’s!