Comparing How do I Love Thee by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and A Brithday by Christina Rosetti
Much of the poetry written prior to the 19th Century was devoted to
the many types of love, both the sensations and feelings related to
this subject, and also the poet attempting to capture in writing how
the feeling of being in love has changed him or her. For these
reasons, it is important top analyse examples of this poetry in terms
of how the different poets have captured the sensations of being in
different types of love. Also, how the poets have conveyed to the
reader the different types of love one can experience. Finally, how
the poets convey to the reader a sense of how being in love has
changed them, for the better, or for worse.
The two poems I have chosen to compare for this essay are 'How do I
love thee?' by Elizabeth Barrett Browning and 'A Birthday' written by
Both of these poems describe love in different ways, the two poets use
many different ways to describe the sensation of love. They can use
the use of colours, object, or living thing to show the sensation. The
poets use objects to show their love, as love in an emotion it cannot
be seen or touched, so the poets try to turn this emotion into
something they can touch, see and feel.
In the poem 'How do I love thee?' by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, she
uses this methods of using objects to show her love, she uses the
objects that can be seen, touched and felt to measure her love, for
example in the first three lines she says 'How do I love thee?, Let me
count the ways, I love thee to the depth, breadth and height My soul
can reach'. These are measurements of love in the poem and it is how
the poet relates to love.
However, in 'A Birthday' by Christina Rosetti the sensation of love is
shown by using similes, she compares love to other things that can be
seen and felt, for example in the first line she says 'My heart is
like a singing bird'. She is comparing her love which cannot be seen
to something that can be seen and heard, she uses this methods of
relating to objects such as rainbows, birds and an apple tree to love,
this is how she gets her sensation across to the reader. This is
compared to 'How do I love thee?' where Elizabeth Browning uses actual
measurements (length, breadth) to get across the sensation of love.
However, in the poem 'First Love' the poet John Clare captures the
sensation s of falling in love in a different way. As he sees someone
who he falls in love with he describes his sensation with things that
happen to his body. For example when he sees here he says 'My face
turned pale as deadly pale. My legs refused to walk away.' He uses
these reactions to show his sensation of love.
In the two poems 'How do I love thee?' and 'A Birthday' there is
different types of...