Penned in Passion, Still Stealing Hearts

Daily Mail (London), October 11, 1997 | Go to article overview

Penned in Passion, Still Stealing Hearts


Byline: NICK MASON

A SONNET penned by a sick middle-aged woman in the midst of her passion for a young admirer was named Britain's favourite love poem yesterday.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning's How Do I Love Thee? one of a collection of poems written for Robert Browning, with whom she eloped, still strikes a chord with romantics, a BBC poll to coincide with National Poetry Day reveals.

Other poems in the top ten include W B Yeats's He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven, Robert Burns's A Red, Red Rose and William Shakespeare's sonnets Let Me Not To The Marriage of True Minds and Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer's Day?

The only postwar poet to find a place in the nation's top ten was W H Auden, with Stop All The Clocks, which articulates the heartbreak of bereavement and was featured in Four Weddings and A Funeral.

Browning's How Do I Love Thee? was the 43rd of 44 works in her Sonnets from the Portuguese.

The odd title - they had nothing to do with Portugal - was added on publication in 1850 to hide the fact from her estranged father that the collection had been written to fellow poet Robert Browning during one of literature's most famous courtships. 'The Portuguese' is said to have been his pet name for her.

The sonnets started when she was ill and near-suicidal, blaming herself for her brother's death by drowning, through to her decision to elope and cut herself off from her family.

The couple had met when Elizabeth was a reclusive invalid, still living under her father's roof in Wimpole Street, London.

Browning wrote her a fan letter, then visited her, declaring his love a day later.

Elizabeth, six years his elder, could not at first believe he truly loved her but they married in 1846, when she was 40. Love lasted, bringing a son, and she died in her husband's arms in 1861. Her poem was the 'clear winner', according to the BBC, which received hundreds of telephone votes.

Daisy Goodwin, who organised the poll, said: 'The top ten shows that as a nation we identify with every shade of emotion. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Penned in Passion, Still Stealing Hearts
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.