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In Honor of Valentine’s Day, Please Enjoy How Do I Love Thee (Sonnet 43) by Elizabeth Barrett


Welcome to the second installment of Ozarks Maven Love Poems Week. Today I’d like to share my favorite Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem with you. This is the most romantic poem I’ve ever read, and I can’t think of a better Valentine poem.

My husband isn’t a poet by any means, but he recited How Do I Love Thee (Sonnet 43) to me when we were dating. I knew in that moment I would marry him. We will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary this year. Poetry is powerful.

How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43) 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 every day’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.

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