Analysis, Pages 8 (1907 words)
In How do I love thee by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. I believe that the person talking is professing about a kind of love that can stand the test of time. You know that kind of love. Every day and moment is cherished by both. Each person knows almost everything about each other and they have been together for what would seem like forever. It is very rare these days to see a younger generation finding that love. And in a way it is understandable with all the new technology that can help with relationships.
Back then there was not a thing called therapy or a marriage counselor.
The couple worked on their problems by communicating to one another and not having someone there telling them how to do it. There also was not dating sites or things such as Facebook where some couples meet. That kind of love I have only seen in my grandparent’s generation. I believe that everyone deserves to find that kind of love even though it is hard.
The way that the poem is written really makes one possibly want to strive to find it. At least, it made me want to. I loved the poem. I think that it would speak to anyone who may be in love, see it all around them, etc.
For the sake of this paper I would like to think that the speaker in the poem is a man and he is talking about a woman that he is love with.
Throughout the poem he compares his love for this woman with many different things. He compares her things that are sometimes overlooked in this world. Things such as his soul, or the way that a day needs sunlight, a man’s freedom and justice, the way that a child has faith in everything and that he could even possibly love the woman more after he dies. The beginning of the poem starts with the speaker comparing his love for this mysterious woman to his own soul.
The speaker states that he could love this woman to the very depth of his soul, breadth and height that his soul could reach. The man in this poem is trying to speak to this woman’s heart and win her over in the way of love. He seems to be going in depth when he speaks about her in the poem. Not many men would profess this kind of love aloud and he has taken an extra step written it down for this woman. He has expressed that he loves this woman with his whole soul and to many people that means a lot.
The speaker also professes his love for this woman by saying “I love thee to the level of every / day’s / most quiet need, by sun and /candle light”. By stating this he shows us, the reader, that he is very serious about being in love with this woman. Especially if he is stating that he loves her as much as many days would need sunlight. And this is quite a need indeed. Most people do not think about how important sunshine can be in our day to day lives. I think what the man in this poem is trying to say is that he is like every living thing on this earth.
We all need sunshine, water, air, shelter, love and some sort of nutrition to stay alive. This to me means that he needs this woman like he needs all the aforementioned things to stay alive. He has this need to love her. Often these days it seems to almost be a need in this world to have freedom and justice. They go hand in hand more often than not. A man’s freedom and justice are important in this world. If we did not establish this in our societies our world today would be drastically different. We would not have the freedom to speak our voice or love who we want.
Within this poem I believe that this is what the speaker is trying to say to us. He states that he loves this woman freely like the way that men strive for right in this world. He is not forced to love her like some people had to in the past. Like with arranged marriages and being betrothed to someone. With that being said he shows to us that he has received the right for the freedom to love her and out of his own heart he has chosen to do that very thing. Also in this poem the man confesses to the woman that he loves her with a passion put to use in his old griefs.
Do you know how a person gets when they lose someone? Suddenly they have to live their life like they may be gone the next day and the day they are living in is their last day on this earth. There is a fire sparked in their life and everything that they do suddenly matters to them. Even the little things they do for a daily routine, such as brushing their hair in the morning or picking out an outfit the night before for the day to come. He could very well be trying to express this kind of love for her by stating it in the poem. Maybe he already does that and he wants to share it with the world.
Like the fact that every little thing that she does may mean something to him and may put him in a state of awe. Or in the same sense he could be showing the world that he cares for her because he finds the little things in life that could make her happy. Toward the end of the poem it also states that he loves this woman with his childhood’s faith. I think what he means is that he loves her like a child would. Looking back, as a child, nothing really mattered. Everyone that you knew shared what they had with hardly any questions asked. Your parents were the coolest people you that you knew.
You could roam free with mismatched clothes and shoes and no one would care and you could just play and everyone was nice to you no matter the color of your skin, how much money your parents made or where you were from. I believe that the author of this poem is trying to convey that the speaker has this kind of thinking about this woman. He does not judge her, he shares his deepest secrets and he loves her for who she is. Children can be so intense about just one thing and he could be trying to show us that he has a love for this woman just like that.
This love he has is very intense but at the same time this love could be a gentle love. Most children that I know also care very deeply about things. Do you remember a blanket or stuffed animal that was your favorite thing to carry with you? If you did not have this said blanket you were not able to sleep as well at night as if you actually had your blanket there. Or if you did not have your favorite stuffed animal you were an emotional wreck and you could not be as easily entertained as when you had the stuffed animal?
I think that the speaker is trying to say that he loves her like that too. The speaker is trying to tell us that he cannot live without her just the way that a child cannot live without his favorite stuffed animal. In the last bit of the poem it seems ironic at first but I know now how poetry kind of works. The author ends the poem with the speaker saying that he will love this mysterious woman better after death. It is symbolic that she ends the poem this way. It is almost like she is ending the love that he speaker has for the woman by ending the poem, but at the same time the speaker says that he will love her better after death. I would say that many people think that there is something greater that happens to us after we die. Being a Catholic I was taught at a young age that once we die we travel to heaven, meet St. Peter who sits at the gates of heaven and he more or less lets us into heave so that God can judge our lives and tell us if we belong in heaven or if we go to hell. Heaven to me is assumed to be a perfect world.
You can have what you want and do what you want within reason but there are fewer restrictions than here on earth because in heaven everyone gets along. The speaker, to me, is saying that because of this he will be able to love her without all the material things in this world or all the hatred from wars getting in the way. Sure, above, nothing else mattered but the speaker makes it more apparent by telling her this. On the other hand the speaker could be telling this woman how much he loves her through all these different ways because he wants her to know that he can no longer be with her.
He also could have just lost her to someone else or even through death and this is a tribute. If he did in fact lose her because she died, the last line in the poem has an even greater meaning behind it. The speaker could also be professing his love in all these different ways because he can’t stand to be with her. She may not feel the same way back and he could feel lost and confused but he knows that he can’t continue to be with her because she is hurting him emotionally. This poem could be his way of telling her how much he loved her and still will after she leaves.
The last line in the poem could also be him telling her that he will love her better after the death of their relationship. If this happens to be true then this poem has been a tribute to all that they have been through in their journey of love. Over all one could find many different ways that this poem could be interpreted. I will stick to my original thinking that the man who is speaking to his love in this poem is expressing his deep love for her. The love that he has for this woman is a very profound kind of love that will stand the test of time.
This kind of love is hard to find these days. I liked this poem because it spoke to me. I do not think there are many men out there in this world that would sit down and write a poem for someone about how much they love them. They especially would not compare their love to things such as their soul, or the way that a day needs sunlight, a man’s freedom and justice, or the way that a child has faith in everything and they probably would not say that they could even possibly love the, more after they die. This was a fun poem to analyze and I understand it better after writing this paper.