Books Contours of Love Early Readers Genre Lifespan of a Reader Picture Books Poetry Poetry Friday Reading Themes

[Poetry Friday] Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “How Do I Love Thee” Brought To Life by Mati McDonough

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways....

poetry friday

Myra here.

I am back once again for Poetry Friday. One of my resolutions this year is to read more poetry (my least-read genre for the past two years), and that means, hopefully, greater involvement in the Poetry Friday community. Thank you to Beyond LiteracyLink for hosting this week.

As we are celebrating love for the first quarter of the year, I tried to find picturebooks in verse that will fit our current reading theme, and this jumped out from the library shelves.

How Do I Love Thee?

Poetry By: Elizabeth Barrett Browning Illustrated by: Mati McDonough
Published by: Cameron Kids, 2016
ISBN: 1937359832 (ISBN13: 9781937359836). Borrowed from Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

I am deeply familiar with Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poetry, and this poem in particular. It was a pleasure to revisit each line in such in-depth fashion through Mati McDonough’s art. She has also interpreted the poem to signify this kind of unending love between father and son.

Somehow, this simple act of fishing has been infused with great tenderness through the lyrical lines complemented with McDonough’s muted art.

Apparently, this is part of a picture-book poem series that started with e.e. cummings’ I Carry Your Heart With Me illustrated too by Mati McDonough – which I also featured and reviewed here:

While admittedly, I enjoyed I Carry Your Heart With Me more – this is still a lovely interpretation of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s classic poem that you should definitely check out. Here is the entire poem for you, Poetry Friday enthusiasts. Enjoy!

#LitWorld2018GB Update: United Kingdom/ Britain – Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born in Kelloe, United Kingdom and is known as a Victorian English poet.

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Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

16 comments on “[Poetry Friday] Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “How Do I Love Thee” Brought To Life by Mati McDonough

  1. This is a wonderful series. It forces us to slow down and really appreciate these classics. I’m glad you are reading more poetry this year… thanks for sharing what you’re reading with us! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love that the poem was used to celebrate dads and sons.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Myra, this new book looks like one I would like very much especially because I have always loved Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem that you shared. It is so good to have you back at Poetry Friday with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow. Interpreted as father/son love. That is beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for sharing these two lovely books with us, and I, too, was struck by the father/son love interpretation. Refreshing. I do hope that add more to this series. Best, Christie

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I did not know this series. Thanks for sharing it I love the tender illustrations that show the love between father and son. Love encompasses so much more than romance.


  7. What a brilliant take on How Do I Love Thee, it’s so exciting to see classics given a fresh new spin that’s still respectful of the source material. I love the idea of capturing this powerful form of love – that between a parent and a child.


  8. maryleehahn

    I need to check out this series. I’m intrigued that Browning’s poem was illustrated as father/son love instead of romantic love. What other loves could this poem represent?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a charming book, Myra! The illustrations slow one down beautifully and are lovely in and of themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Didn’t know about that book — looks wonderful. And it’s lovely to read Browning’s poem once again in the run up to Valentine’s Day. Ah, love . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Such a great list here! Thank you for sharing these treasures with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh, I need to find these books! I only knew about the cummings one in passing. Thanks so much for sharing, Myra, and wishing you all kinds of LOVE this season and year! :0)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Echoing other comments, I love that this book not only respects the original poem, but also offers a twist (the father/son relationship) making it fresh and new. Definitely something to consider in our own writing! Thank you for sharing, Myra.


  14. A favorite poem of mine too, and a nice twist with the love of a father and son. Thanks for sharing it with us and reminding us too of “I Carry Your Heart With Me.”


  15. laurashovan222

    What gorgeous collage art! I would never have thought of this poem as the love of a parent for a child, but of course it fits beautifully. Thank you for sharing this book, Myra.


  16. Pingback: [Poetry Friday] if thou must love me… – Gathering Books

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