A series which claims to list the "Top 100 or so..." poems of all time would not be valid or complete without the poem which is considered to be one of the most famous love poems of all time.
And so, here it is!
Elizabeth Barrett Browning is widely considered in the United Kingdom as the single most important female poet and writer to hail from the U.K. - and her stature as a poet at the time (mid 1800's) was peerless, having published a huge body of work, beginning at a very young age.
Chronically and seriously ill for many years -even into her 30's- she spent a good portion of her life behind closed doors accepting only family and a few close friends as she struggled with her health.
Elizabeth Barrett wrote this classic love poem for her husband, Robert Browning - one of the great english language poets of history - and her eloping marriage with Browning is widely credited with turning her health and her life around. It is a poem of deep spritual love, and gratitude, and devotion. A good one.
Sonnet 43 - How do I love thee? Let me count the ways
by 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 everyday'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.