From A-level English Lit. classes, I came to love poetry; these poems in particular:
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 a 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.
— Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
Shall I compare thee to a Summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And Summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And oft’ is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d:
But thy eternal Summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wanderest in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
— William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
Somewhere on the other side of this wide night
and the distance between us, I am thinking of you.
The room is turning slowly away from the moon.
This is pleasurable. Or shall I cross that out and say it is sad?
In one of the tenses I am singing
an impossible song of desire that you cannot hear.
La la la la.
See? I close my eyes and imagine the dark hills
I would have to cross to reach you,
For I am in love with you and this
is what it is like or what it is like in words.
— Carol Ann Duffy, (1955- )Tags: carol ann duffy elizabeth barrett browning how do i love thee literature love poetry shall i compare thee to a summer's day sonnet william shakespeare words wide night