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My biography will be very limited for now.   Here , I can express myself in poetic form but in real life I much rather prefer to be far less forward  I am a 60 year old American citizen , born and raised in the glorious South! A heritage that I am very proud of and thank God for as it is a blessing indeed ~

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Blog on the magnificent poet: Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Blog Posted:1/15/2020 7:47:00 PM

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

1806–1861

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Born on March 6, 1806, at Coxhoe Hall, Durham, England,

was an English poet of the Romantic Movement. The oldest of twelve children, Elizabeth was the first in her family born in England in over two hundred years. For centuries, the Barrett family, who were part Creole, had lived in Jamaica, where they owned sugar plantations and relied on slave labor. Elizabeth's father, Edward Barrett Moulton Barrett, chose to raise his family in England, while his fortune grew in Jamaica. Educated at home, Elizabeth apparently had read passages from Paradise Lost and a number of Shakespearean plays, among other great works, before the age of ten. By her twelfth year, she had written her first "epic" poem, which consisted of four books of rhyming couplets. Two years later, Elizabeth developed a lung ailment that plagued her for the rest of her life. Doctors began treating her with morphine, which she would take until her death. While saddling a pony when she was fifteen, Elizabeth also suffered a spinal injury. Despite her ailments, her education continued to flourish. Throughout her teenage years, Elizabeth taught herself Hebrew so that she could read the Old Testament; her interests later turned to Greek studies. Accompanying her appetite for the classics was a passionate enthusiasm for her Christian faith. She became active in the Bible and Missionary Societies of her church.

In 1826, Elizabeth anonymously published her collection An Essay on Mind and Other Poems. Two years later, her mother passed away. The slow abolition of slavery in England and mismanagement of the plantations depleted the Barretts's income, and in 1832, Elizabeth's father sold his rural estate at a public auction. He moved his family to a coastal town and rented cottages for the next three years, before settling permanently in London. While living on the sea coast, Elizabeth published her translation of Prometheus Bound (1833), by the Greek dramatist Aeschylus.

Gaining attention for her work in the 1830s, Elizabeth continued to live in her father's London house under his tyrannical rule. He began sending Elizabeth's younger siblings to Jamaica to help with the family's estates. Elizabeth bitterly opposed slavery and did not want her siblings sent away. During this time, she wrote The Seraphim and Other Poems (1838), expressing Christian sentiments in the form of classical Greek tragedy. Due to her weakening disposition, she was forced to spend a year at the sea of Torquay accompanied by her brother Edward, whom she referred to as "Bro." He drowned later that year while sailing at Torquay, and Browning returned home emotionally broken, becoming an invalid and a recluse. She spent the next five years in her bedroom at her father's home. She continued writing, however, and in 1844 produced a collection entitled simply Poems. This volume gained the attention of poet Robert Browning, whose work Elizabeth had praised in one of her poems, and he wrote her a letter.

Elizabeth and Robert, who was six years her junior, exchanged 574 letters over the next twenty months. Immortalized in 1930 in the play The Barretts of Wimpole Street, by Rudolf Besier (1878-1942), their romance was bitterly opposed by her father, who did not want any of his children to marry. In 1846, the couple eloped and settled in Florence, Italy, where Elizabeth's health improved and she bore a son, Robert Wideman Browning. Her father never spoke to her again. Elizabeth's Sonnets from the Portuguese, dedicated to her husband and written in secret before her marriage, was published in 1850. Critics generally consider the Sonnets—one of the most widely known collections of love lyrics in English—to be her best work. Admirers have compared her imagery to Shakespeare and her use of the Italian form to Petrarch.

Political and social themes embody Elizabeth's later work. She expressed her intense sympathy for the struggle for the unification of Italy in Casa Guidi Windows (1848-1851) and Poems Before Congress (1860). In 1857 Browning published her verse novel Aurora Leigh, which portrays male domination of a woman. In her poetry she also addressed the oppression of the Italians by the Austrians, the child labor mines and mills of England, and slavery, among other social injustices. Although this decreased her popularity, Elizabeth was heard and recognized around Europe.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning died in Florence on June 29, 1861.


Selected Bibliography

Poetry

The Battle of Marathon: A Poem (1820)
An Essay on Mind, with Other Poems (1826)
Miscellaneous Poems (1833)
The Seraphim and Other Poems (1838)
Poems (1844)
A Drama of Exile: and other Poems (1845)
Poems: New Edition (1850)
The Poems of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1850)
Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850)
Casa Guidi Windows: A Poem (1851)
Poems: Third Edition (1853)
Two Poems (1854)
Poems: Fourth Edition (1856)
Aurora Leigh (1857)
Napoleon III in Italy, and Other Poems (1860)
Poems before Congress (1860)
Last Poems (1862)
The Complete Poetical Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1900)
Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Hitherto Unpublished Poems and Stories (1914)
New Poems by Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1914)

Prose

"Queen Annelida and False Arcite;" "The Complaint of Annelida to False Arcite," (1841)
A New Spirit of the Age (1844)
"The Daughters of Pandarus" from the Odyssey (1846)
The Greek Christian Poets and the English Poets (1863)
Psyche Apocalyptè: A Lyrical Drama (1876)
Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning Addressed to Richard Hengist Horne (1877)
The Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1897)
The Poet's Enchiridion (1914)
Letters to Robert Browning and Other Correspondents by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1916)
Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Letters to Her Sister, 1846-1859 (1929)
Letters from Elizabeth Barrett to B. R. Haydon (1939)
Twenty Unpublished Letters of Elizabeth Barrett to Hugh Stuart Boyd (1950)
New Letters from Mrs. Browning to Isa Blagden (1951)
The Unpublished Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Mary Russell Mitford (1954)
Unpublished Letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Hugh Stuart Boyd (1955)
Letters of the Brownings to George Barrett (1958)
Diary by E. B. B.: The Unpublished Diary of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1831-1832 (1969)
The Letters of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1845-1846 (1969)
Invisible Friends (1972)
Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Letters to Mrs. David Ogilvy, 1849-1861 (1973)

Anthology

Prometheus Bound (1833)

 

https://poets.org/poet/elizabeth-barrett-browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning: style, subject and reception

 
Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poetic form encompasses lyric, ballad and narrative, while engaging with historical events, religious belief and contemporary political opinion. Dr Simon Avery considers how her experimentation with both the style and subject of her poetry affected its reception during the 19th century.
 

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was one of the great experimenters in 19th-century poetry. By the time of her marriage to Robert Browning in September 1846, she was recognised internationally for her often innovative and challenging verse and was heralded by many as one of the most accomplished poets of the period. Indeed, when William Wordsworth died in 1850, Barrett Browning was seriously considered as his successor to the post of Poet Laureate. Although the post would eventually be awarded to Alfred Tennyson – the first woman to become Laureate would be Carol Ann Duffy in 2009 – the debate around Barrett Browning’s eligibility demonstrates the stature she had achieved.

'The Laureateship' from the Daily News, 1850

The Laureateship' from the Daily News, 1850 [page: 6]

Letter from a member of the public to the Daily News suggesting that Elizabeth Barrett Browning should be considered as Poet Laureate, 1850.

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Breaking conventions

Barrett Browning had been working towards this position for several decades and had continually sought to push boundaries in terms of both style and subject matter. Certainly she was never one to stay within conventions, even if this meant that reviewers were often highly critical of her work. Her original and experimental approach began early with her first major poem, The Battle of Marathon, which she wrote in her early teens and which was privately printed by her father in 1820. This work is nothing less than a four-book epic which focuses on the key battle of the Ancient Greeks against the Persians in 490 CE. Including impressive depictions of warfare, the classical hero figure, and the machinations of the gods, it is a startlingly bold beginning for a young poet.

The Battle of Marathon initiated Barrett Browning’s consistent desire to test different styles and forms of poetry and to tackle complex subject matters. Her subsequent volume, An Essay on Mind, and Other Poems (1826), was another bold intervention in this way. The title poem is a long verse essay written in the style of the 18th-century poet Alexander Pope, in which Barrett Browning explores the notion of genius as it is manifested in the work of a wide range of historians, philosophers, scientists and poets spanning from the classical age to the present. Assessing and judging their contributions to the advancement of knowledge, Barrett Browning is particularly (and unsurprisingly) keen to emphasise the central place of poetry in society. While An Essay on Mind received little attention from reviewers, Barrett Browning nevertheless later recognised its importance to her development, reflecting that the poem was ‘not without traces of an individual thinking and feeling’.[1]

Religion

Over the next three decades, Barrett Browning would write poetry in all the major forms available to her and in a wide variety of styles. During the 1830s she would continue to develop her skills in lyric poetry and also start to explore the possibilities of the religious poem. Her 1838 volume, The Seraphim, and Other Poems, for example, contains a number of engaging religious works such as ‘Isobel’s Child’, ‘The Virgin Mary to the Child Jesus’ and ‘The Weeping Saviour’, while the long title work is structured as a highly innovative dialogue poem spoken by two angels who leave Heaven to watch the Crucifixion of Christ. This is an astonishing depiction which also enabled Barrett Browning to use the angels to debate a range of major theological issues. As a result of its subject matter, however, contemporary reviews of the poem were not always favourable, with The Examiner, for example, suggesting that Barrett Browning was ‘in danger of being spoiled by over-ambition,’ and the Athenaeum arguing that she lacked ‘discriminating taste’.[2] Nevertheless, the poem was important in many ways and, along with the later A Drama of Exile (published in Poems, 1844), stands as a testament to Barrett Browning’s rigorous intellectual engagement with religious ideas.

The ballad form

Alongside this experimentation with religious poetry, Barrett Browning also began to engage with the ballad form, which she inherited from Romantic poets like William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Walter Scott. With its strong narrative lines and scenes of tension and conflict, often set in historical settings, the ballad was extremely popular with 19th-century readers. Again, though, Barrett Browning took this form and manipulated it, in this case so that she could use it to reflect upon the problems faced by many women in her contemporary society. Poems such as ‘A Romance of the Ganges’, ‘The Romance of the Swan’s Nest’ and ‘The Romaunt of the Page’,[3] for example, focus on female protagonists whose experiences with men expose emotional and sexual relationships to be founded upon disillusionment and brutal power games. Such poems are challenging and questioning even if – or maybe because – the women usually die or are silenced at the end of them. Certainly, they had a large influence on the next generation of poets – such as Christina Rossetti and Dante Gabriel Rossetti – and attracted particular attention from a number of feminist critics in the second half of the 20th cent........

https://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/articles/elizabeth-barrett-browning-style-subject-and-reception

Please Login to post a comment
Date: 1/17/2020 3:04:00 AM
I know of Elizabeth Barrett Browning but wasn't aware of the life behind her words. It adds so much perspective now to her poetry for me. This was a fascinating read Robert, thanks for sharing.
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Robert Lindley
Date: 1/17/2020 6:49:00 AM
Thank you my friend. So many of the famous poets of old lived interesting lives. History of poetry and its devotees is a very massive, comprehensive and interesting subject. Browning is a very good example of that, IMHO.. God bless....
Date: 1/16/2020 5:45:00 PM
Robert, thank you again. Such a shame that her father stopped speaking to her.
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Robert Lindley
Date: 1/16/2020 6:22:00 PM
Thank you my friend. Her father obviously did not appreciate her poetic genius. Poets oft pay a price for their Art. She was indeed a very gifted and amazing poet!! God bless....
Date: 1/16/2020 5:12:00 PM
Robert, a wonderful poet, thanks for compiling all this awesome information for us _ Constance
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Robert Lindley
Date: 1/16/2020 5:40:00 PM
Thank you my friend. I feel that female poets do not get enough credit. Not even those already in the golden Halls of the magnificent and legendary, classic greats! Some that were far greater than male poets that are better known and far more highly praised. Poetry should be above such bias but it has not been so.. Sad but true...
Date: 1/16/2020 5:01:00 AM
From the huge deep well of precious words, a thirst sinks for satisfying and illuminating drinks! Grand poets sow and avid readers reap! A richness! A wonder, you Robert, give your reader wonderful gems to behold.. relish in the beauty of outshining works of Art and Heart that adorn and add a lot to the souls and minds! Reading and reading with an immense pleasure! Thank you so much for sharing such an elevating poetry! Such a great poetess that refused to yield to limiting conventions.. my deepest regards and blessings.
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Robert Lindley
Date: 1/16/2020 5:57:00 AM
Thank you my great friend. Browning was indeed a truly magnificent, creative and stubbornly unyielding poetess. She is better known for her fine sonnets but all of her poetic shows genius in its breadth, width and creativity, life like imagery and massive depths. Her and Emily Dickinson, along with Christina Rossetti set a standard not very many modern female poets can reach, IMHO. God bless.....

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Crying River Balladbeautiful,cry,deep,freedo
Colours in our lives Rhymebeauty,color,
Daddy Free verseblue,dad,depression,fathe
Indian Ink Dramatic Verseabuse,autumn,death,deep,f
A New Bird Rhymebirth,
When Love Found Me Rhymeblessing,love,
Mist Song Rhymebeauty,music,nature,
Wild Love Narrativegarden,love,rose,sweet,
I Walk on Water Free verseintrospection,life,
The Blackberry and The Rose Personificationimagination
Strong Point Sonnetlove,
I Hate You All Light Versedark,death,philosophy,sad
So She Broke your Heart Free verseanalogy,betrayal,hope,lov
Fragment Trioletlight
The Perfect Painting Rhymeart,beauty,
Diamond in the Sky Sonnetstar,
In One Fell Swoop Free verselost love,
A Shade From The Past Sonnetart,nostalgia,people,
To a Despondent Friend Quatraindepression,
A Letter to Emily Dickinson Rhymepoetess,
White Lace Sonnetlife,seasons
Echoes in the Stone Epicadventure,death,hero,hist
The tree of life Rhymeage,child,death,mystery,t
Our little Haven Rhymecousin,fairy,fantasy,gree
Her Hidden Gem Rhymemother,voice,
Eyes of Blue Rhymefreedom,hero,memorial day
MY DAY IS COMING Rhymefriendship,journey,life,
SOMETIMES Rhymeblessing,thanks,
THE LORDS SWEET MORNING Rhymemusic,nature,
Letting Go Rhymeson,
What is Love Sonnetlove,
Releasing Me Sonnethappiness,peace,
As we walk hand in hand Rhymehappiness,how i feel,love
Angel Tears Light Verseangel,
Put Your Head on My Shoulder Light Versedance,romantic,
I Am The Mighty Mountain Personificationearth,mountains,
Death Blows a Hollow Horn Sonnetdeath,
Written in a Graveyard Sonnetdeath,
Invitation Rhymelost love,
His Song and Mine I do not know?bird,life,poems,prison,,L
In An Old Cathedral Rhymeloneliness,love,
Sweet Memories Rhymelost love,
Oak Rhymetree,
Contest Consternation Free versecommunity,poetry,words,
Write you OUT Free versegoodbye,how i feel,
Hey you Free verseanger,conflict,forgivenes
Aquarius Coupletimagery,water,
Mother's Garden Rhymeflower,garden,nature,
Neverland Narrativechildhood,nostalgia,place
The Ripping Free verseabuse,addiction,anger,ang
Stairway to the Stars Free versefarewell,kiss,
Midnight Poet Free verseaddiction,character,devot
A New Love Found Free verseinspirational,
Autumn's Gown Rhymecolor,inspiration,
Kresge's Five And Dime Stores Rhymenostalgia,
Intolerable Rhymeabuse,betrayal,racism,
Amidst the Fallen Petals Free verselonging,love,
The Evil Eye Rhymeevil,
My Fallen Brother Rhymeangst,brother,history,los
Eccentric Eyes Sonnetpain,
The Sowing Free versedevotion,
Autumn's Dreams Of A Country Road Rhymenature,seasons,
Bobcat Moon Rhymeautumn,friendship,loss,mo
Yellow Shoes in the Darkness Quatrainme,metaphor,places,yellow
Broken Dramatic Verseabsence,death,emo,emotion
Holding a wilting red rose Versedeath,mother,mothers day,
Deep in Nature Sonnetnature,
The Black Dragon Free versecorruption,courage,hope,w
Ragnarok: The Storm Epyllionweather,
THE ART OF LIFE Rhymeart,inspiration,poetry,
When Shadows Fall Rhymelife,music,nature,seasons
The Clock it Mocks Free versebreak up,heartbroken,jeal
Heaven or Hell Free versedark,heaven,light,love,
Headache Free versefreedom,success,
O The Grieving Free versedeath,funeral,grief,
Eccentricity In Love Sonnetlove,universe,
Wild pure and free love Free versebeautiful,love,romance,
Sunset Tableau Versepain,
Ancient Warrior Iambic Pentameterangst,culture,native amer
Starstruck in your deep Beauty Free versebeautiful,beauty,flower,l
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Light Versesoldier,violence,war,
Whilst walking through the woods Sonnetanimal,beauty,bird,nature
Tear Drops Free verseallegory,desire,devotion,
Outside Looking In Rhymecharacter,community,histo
Church Quatrainblessing,change,devotion,
Rain over Vietnam Quaternrain,war,
Why So Afraid Iambic Pentameterlove,
Long Distance Dreamer Light Versebeautiful,i miss you,long
Small Passerene Birds Rhymebeautiful,romantic,season
But I Must Stay Villanellesad,
On Blood's Own Sand Free versedeath,desire,emotions,pas
That Still Small Voice Quatraingod,prayer,relationship,
Star Gazer Free verseallegory,beauty,metaphor,

Fav Poets

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PoetCountry 
SKAT A United States Flag United States Read
Poet Destroyer A United States Flag United States Read
Annalise Brigham...a.k.a. Audrey Haick United States Flag United States Read
Keith O.J. Hunt Canada Flag Canada Read
Sunshine Smile Norway Flag Norway Read
Sara Kendrick United States Flag United States Read
JAN ALLISON Isle Of Man Flag Isle Of Man Read
Jake Ponce Philippines Flag Philippines Read
Carolyn Devonshire United States Flag United States Read
Vera Duggan Australia Flag Australia Read
Robert Nehls United States Flag United States Read
Joyce Johnson United States Flag United States Read
Eileen Manassian _Not Listed Flag _Not Listed Read
lisa duggan Australia Flag Australia Read
Barbara Gorelick United States Flag United States Read
Gary Bateman Germany Flag Germany Read
liam mcdaid Ireland Flag Ireland Read
Gry Christensen United States Flag United States Read
arthur vaso Canada Flag Canada Read
Debbie Guzzi United States Flag United States Read
Roy Jerden United States Flag United States Read
James Fraser United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
Robert Lindley United States Flag United States Read
Richard Lamoureux Canada Flag Canada Read
Paul Callus Malta Flag Malta Read
Miss Sassy United States Flag United States Read
cherl dunn United States Flag United States Read
KP Nunez Philippines Flag Philippines Read
Peter Lewis Holmes Viet Nam Flag Viet Nam Read
David O'Haolin Whalen United States Flag United States Read
Keith Bickerstaffe United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
Lu Loo United States Flag United States Read
Connie Marcum Wong United States Flag United States Read
Lin Lane United States Flag United States Read
Vladislav Raven United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
Gail Foster United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
Pandita Sanchez United States Flag United States Read
Danetta Barney United States Flag United States Read
Teppo Gren Finland Flag Finland Read
Tom Quigley United States Flag United States Read
jill spagnola United States Flag United States Read
Andrea Dietrich United States Flag United States Read
Avis Bailey United States Flag United States Read
Kelly Deschler United States Flag United States Read
lg ds Thailand Flag Thailand Read
Feli Elizab United States Flag United States Read
Casarah Nance United States Flag United States Read
Edlynn Nau United States Flag United States Read
Leslie Philibert Germany Flag Germany Read
Miraj Raha India Flag India Read
Sarai Virden United States Flag United States Read
Monterey Sirak United States Flag United States Read
Bev Smith United States Flag United States Read
C T United States Flag United States Read
Jessica Thompson United States Flag United States Read
Charmaine Chircop Malta Flag Malta Read
Timothy Hicks United States Flag United States Read
Sandra Haight United States Flag United States Read
Tim Smith United States Flag United States Read
Suzanne Delaney United States Flag United States Read
Joseph May United States Flag United States Read
Dear Heart Canada Flag Canada Read
Daniel Turner United States Flag United States Read
Manmath Dalei India Flag India Read
kabuteng P.iNk k. Philippines Flag Philippines Read
Robert L. Hinshaw United States Flag United States Read
nette onclaud Philippines Flag Philippines Read
harry horsman Australia Flag Australia Read
Red Fiery Singapore Flag Singapore Read
Brian Davey United States Flag United States Read
Keith Trestrail Trinidad and Tobago Flag Trinidad and Tobago Read
Walter T. Ashe United States Flag United States Read
Carrie Richards United States Flag United States Read
Anisha Dutta India Flag India Read
CayCay Jennings United States Flag United States Read
Emile Pinet Canada Flag Canada Read
Teddy Kimathi Kenya Flag Kenya Read
Julia Ward France Flag France Read
Frederic Parker United States Flag United States Read
Olive Eloisa Guillermo - Fraser Philippines Flag Philippines Read
Laura Leiser United States Flag United States Read
John Hamilton Canada Flag Canada Read
Rhonda Johnson-Saunders United States Flag United States Read
Robert Stoner Jr United States Flag United States Read
Faye Gibson United States Flag United States Read
michael tor United States Flag United States Read
Carol Eastman United States Flag United States Read
Charlie Smith United States Flag United States Read
Maurice Yvonne Canada Flag Canada Read
Elaine George Canada Flag Canada Read
Bob Quigley United States Flag United States Read
Shadow Hamilton United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
Charles Henderson United States Flag United States Read
Robert Pettit United States Flag United States Read
Francine Roberts Canada Flag Canada Read
Eve Roper United States Flag United States Read
jack horne United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom Read
Andrew Crisci United States Flag United States Read
kash poet India Flag India Read
Janice Canerdy United States Flag United States Read
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