Elizabeth Barret Browings 'How do i love thee?' and Geoff Goodfellows 'Reminders'. Analysed

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How do I love thee?

Elizabeth Browning

How do I love thee by Elizabeth Browning is a poem in which she describes and compares the love for her husband to many things. The poem is a sonnet, a 14 line poem with regular rhythm, rhyme and structure. The poem is delivered in one stanza, in which Browning sets about answering the question which she has posed in the title and first line - "How do I love thee?"

Although not immediately noticeable this poem has a very rigid rhyme structure. The first eight lines follow an A, B, B A pattern; that is the 1st and 4th lines rhyme as do the 2nd and 3rd. However at the 9th line the rhyme pattern changes to C, D, C, D; that is the 1st and 3rd lines rhyme, as do the 2nd and 4th.

Lines 2 and 3 suggest that her love is so vast that it can't be measured, and with a little interpretation it can be read that this love consumes her soul in "...depth

and breadth and height." In line 4 browning uses somewhat religious language to describe her love "...of being and ideal grace". This can be paralleled to mean that there is a pure and spiritual quality to her love. Her love is endless "by sun and candlelight."

The strength of her love is emphasised in lines 9 and 10, these lines also indicate that she has seen sorrow, perhaps even death, "lost saints" in her past. However her love is all consuming and seems to rebuild her faith in love, a faith that she has perhaps lost in her childhood.

The last three lines leave the reader with a sense of just how powerful the love this woman is feeling, a...