Sunday, November 22, 2009

A favorite sonnet of Ana's

Ana has been on a poetry kick lately. She's come to love iambic pentameter, of all things, the meter that Shakespeare uses in his plays. She especially loves this line of perfect iambic pentameter (not from Shakespeare):

"Herbs too she knew and well of each could speak."

She saw it on a calendar in a kitchen. The connection to food probably doesn't hurt. Ana loves herbs and spices.

She doesn't often care for older poems, where the vocabulary and syntax can be complex for someone whose native language is Luvit and not English, but here's one she loves. It's well-known--many if not all readers will know it. Fortunately, it's in the public domain, so it can be shown here.

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 an ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday'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 thee with the passion to put 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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