Famous Love Poem

"How Do I Love Thee?" is one of the poems that make up the forty-four poems of Sonnets from the Portuguese. They were written while she was still courting her future husband, Mr. Browning, between 1845 and 1846. She writes that the love she has for him is everlasting and consumes every part of her.

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On August 25, 2017, the love of my life and I had been chatting while he shaved. I walked away, and I was gone 12 minutes. Sometime in those stupid 12 minutes he dropped to his knees and died...

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How Do I Love Thee?

Elizabeth Barrett Browning By more Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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 candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a 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.

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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • Jose by Jose
  • 7 months ago

I first read this masterpiece to my sweet Dulcinea over a year and a half ago and she loved it! Many other poems ensued, many of which she loved, many of which she still treasures. A year ago she even asked me to read this jewel to her, and tomorrow I'll give it my best rendition when I ask her to marry me. Thank you and enjoy. Semper Fi!

  • Judy Steinman by Judy Steinman
  • 9 months ago

On August 25, 2017, the love of my life and I had been chatting while he shaved. I walked away, and I was gone 12 minutes. Sometime in those stupid 12 minutes he dropped to his knees and died with no warning and for no good reason at all. He was only 51. We had been together every day and night for 21 years. On September 3, 2017, I stood in front of his casket in a tiny chapel with our family and closest friends watching and I read this beautiful poem. One day 15 years ago we had visited my grandparents' graves and he had given me a private moment. He came back and took my hand and said you have to see this. He took me to a grave of a young man in his 40s who had died in a car crash and his wife had loved him so much his entire grave was covered in a bronze plaque. "How Do I Love Thee" was engraved on it. He read it out loud to me and we stood there holding each other and cried for these two people who had loved and lost each other way too soon. Little did we know the same would happen to us.

  • Sumorsaet by Sumorsaet
  • 1 year ago

I've had appreciation of her work since I first read it more than 60 years ago. When I read her even now, I find myself actually inside her mind, thinking as she was thinking, visioning as she was in her mind's eye and able to write so beautifully. Classic? What else could it be.

  • Mary Pittard by Mary Pittard, Cardiff
  • 5 years ago

On October 7 1993, I recited my version of this poem at the moment that my first granddaughter was born, as I fell in love with that small pink bundle. I have referred to this poem on every birthday and Christmas card, which I have sent to her, and it still fills me with extreme emotion.

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