June 22nd, 2010:

Remembering some poetry

The warmth of summer helps me remember some good poetic expressions from 19th century English poets Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

As I am growing older, I can’t help but reflect on these good words from Browning’s poem Rabbi Ben Ezra:

Grow old along with me!

The best is yet to be,

The last of life, for which the first was made.


His wife, Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote the immortal and inspiring How Do I Love Thee:

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

I love thee to the depth and breadth 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 every day’s

Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

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

In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

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.


Alas, Elizabeth died young. Perhaps she sensed this in her poem.

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