Compare the theme of love in ‘Villegiature’ and ‘How do I love thee’
Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote ‘How do I love thee’ and in this poem I think the poet spoke of an unconditional love, I thought this from its tone which was very sad.I think this poem has some religious significance as well because the poet wrote words like ‘Being, Right, Praise, Grace and God’ these words give the poem a spiritual aspect which the other poems lack.In the final line it said ‘I shall but love thee better after death’ I think from this that the poet is talking about being reunited with a lost love in heaven because we have already seen that this poet has faith in religion.
In the line ‘For the ends of Being and Ideal Grace’, Being means being looked out for by God and Grace means God’s protection, I think the poet has a love for God as well as the person the poem is dedicated to.The poet has an unquestionable loyalty to whoever she speaks of, we can see this from the line ‘and with my childhood’s faith’ the key words being childhood’s faith because a child’s faith or loyalty is unwavering.’How do I love thee’ is a sonnet which was a favoured style of writing at the time of the Pre-Raphaelites, the poem itself contains a lot of assonance and the occasional rhymes. This poem was obviously influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites because it speaks of everything they represented.The poem contains iambic pentameter and has a disheartening tone I think this because I found the poem quite sad but it’s the poet’s faith which keeps her going and this is what makes it stand out amongst other poems.
The language used is nineteenth century English which I think is a lot more meaningful, in the line ‘most quiet need’ the poet refers to a prayer from this we can see the words used have more than one meaning.The poem is written in a narrative voice which gives the reader a more personal involvement with what’s happening which I think makes the poem more effective.’Villegiature’ is a very different to ‘How do I love thee’ in the way it talks about a different form of love, it’s more of an anti-love poem.The poem takes the form of quatrains and has a mournful tone to begin with but at the end has a very ironic tone.’Villegiature’ also uses nineteenth century English and in the line ‘And yet you found Romeo’s way’ I thought this one line alone contained a lot of sarcasm, its sort of mocking the idea of love.
All poems have a voice of some kind this one uses a narrative voice which is one of the few ways that it’s like ‘How do I love thee’ but it helps to give the meaning of the poem more clearly.The poem is not so much related to the Pre-Raphaelites because it’s very anti-love in the way I says at the end ‘I did not till your ghost had fled remember how you always bore’ this gives the poem its ironic feel.The poem has a very dream like tone this is because it describes an exciting affair at the beach which is seen from the line ‘And I half forgot I did not love you’.The poet has been very sarcastic throughout the entire poem which makes it a fun poem; in the line ‘Deep in dull books had hardly missed me’ this makes the poet seem like a love veteran, she seems to know what this kind of love is; a neglected love.
‘Remember’ was a poem written in preparation for death; it has a very depressing tone and represents an unrealistic love.In the line ‘Gone far away into the silent land’ we can see this is a metaphor for death and that’s what this poem has in abundance; metaphors.The poem described a selfless love in the line ‘Yet if you should forget me for a while and afterwards remember do not grieve’ the poet is saying do not feel guilty for forgetting about me. This line on its own says what the poem is about.The poet believes its better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all we can see this from the line ‘Better by far you should forget and smile than you should remember and be sad’ the poet means if thinking about my memory makes you sad, forget me and be happy.
That one line shows the purity of loveThe poem has obviously been influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites because the whole point of their movement was to base their writings on the ideal form of love which this poem does; you cannot get a more pure love than the one represented in ‘Remember’.All three of these poems were written in first person and each spoke of a different type of love.Personally Villegiature was my favourite poem because it spoke of a love which was the only one out of all three that still exists today.To conclude all three poems represented the type of love they spoke of very well for example ‘How do I love thee’ represents the loyalty of love we can see this from the line ‘I shall but love thee better after death’ I think the poet means when we are united in heaven in other words I think one of them is dead.
‘Remember’ speaks of the purity of love we can see this from ‘Nor I half turn to go yet turning to stay’ what’s meant by this is once death has happened I cannot make the choice to stay and this sums up that poem because the poet is so in love she’s willing to be forgotten.Finally Villegiature, which spoke of a love that no longer exists. This poem I believe wrote about the theme of love best because what makes it different is that it’s a fun love poem which I thought until now did not exist.