As October ends, so November begins. A new month means a new featured poet. And so, I would like to give the entire month of November to Elizabeth Barrett Browning. My most favorite poem from her is “How Do I Thee?”. I posted the poem back in August and will not be posting it back this November. However, for those of you who want to check the poem, here’s the link: https://mariamikayla.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/how-do-i-love-thee/.
Here’s a bit of background about Ms. Browning.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born in London, England, in 1809, and she died at Casa Guidi, Florence, June
29, 1861. Her father, Mr. Barrett, was an English country gentleman. Possessing some means, he helped his daughter to acquire an excellent classical education; and, possessing considerable ability, he became, as she says, her public and her critic.
Physically she was very delicate, but nature made up for her fragile frame by giving her a superior mental and spiritual organization. Miss Mitford, her intimate friend, describes her as a “slight, delicate figure, with a shower of dark curls falling on each side of a most expressive face, large tender eyes, richly fringed by dark eyelashes, and a smile like a sunbeam.” Such, in brief, is a description of the attainments and person of the lady who, according to E. C. Stedman, was not only “the greatest female poet that England has produced, but more than this, the most inspired woman so far as known, of all who have composed in ancient or modern tongues or flourished in any land or clime.”
Some of her poems are especially admired. “Cowper’s Grave,” “The Cry of the Children,” “A Child Asleep,” and “He Giveth His Beloved Sleep,” are jewels that shine with the brilliancy of the sun.
Her genius was perhaps as great as that of any poet of her generation, but circumstances retarded its highest possible development. In certain intellectual qualities she was inferior to Tennyson, and the author of `Sordello,’ but in others she was their superior. Be her exact niche, however, what it may, she occupies a favored place in English literature, and is undoubtedly one of the few leading poets of the nineteenth century. Her poetry is that which refines, chastens, and elevates.