Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Archive for the tag “romance”

POM: April 18

The Brownings provided one the most moving romances in literature. Robert writes to Elizabeth first as a fan, then as an admirer, and finally as confident and husband. Although older and ill, Elizabeth escapes the oppression of her father’s household and elopes with Robert to Italy, living out the remainder of her days in the bliss of her husband’s love. Okay, it probably wasn’t that perfect, but I do get a bit sentimental when I read poetry. I didn’t want to investigate this particular poem. I didn’t want to pop the bubble of how enduring love  remains through time by discovering he wasn’t looking for Elizabeth. I also wanted to believe she was perhaps just visiting friends, or had popped out for a gelato and would return. It would be too sad to think that she had passed away and he kept looking for her throughout their house. *sniff* Now and then mushy stuff is good to feast on.  Hope you appreciate R.B.’s poem as much I do.


Love in a Life

Robert Browning, 18121889

Room after room,
I hunt the house through
We inhabit together.
Heart, fear nothing, for, heart, thou shalt find her,
Next time, herself!—not the trouble behind her
Left in the curtain, the couch’s perfume!
As she brushed it, the cornice-wreath blossomed anew,—
Yon looking-glass gleamed at the wave of her feather.

Yet the day wears,
And door succeeds door;
I try the fresh fortune—
Range the wide house from the wing to the centre.
Still the same chance! she goes out as I enter.
Spend my whole day in the quest,—who cares?
But ‘tis twilight, you see,—with such suits to explore,
Such closets to search, such alcoves to importune!

image: pintrest

POM: April 16

Dunbar was one of the first African Americans recognized for his talent in poetry. This is almost magical in its lyric imagery. I can’t even think of trying to find a photograph that could possibly capture its radiance. Perhaps a Monet?

les Coquelicots



Invitation to Love

Paul Laurence Dunbar, 18721906

Come when the nights are bright with stars
Or come when the moon is mellow;
Come when the sun his golden bars
Drops on the hay-field yellow.
Come in the twilight soft and gray,
Come in the night or come in the day,
Come, O love, whene’er you may,
And you are welcome, welcome.

You are sweet, O Love, dear Love,
You are soft as the nesting dove.
Come to my heart and bring it to rest
As the bird flies home to its welcome nest.

Come when my heart is full of grief
Or when my heart is merry;
Come with the falling of the leaf
Or with the redd’ning cherry.
Come when the year’s first blossom blows,
Come when the summer gleams and glows,
Come with the winter’s drifting snows,
And you are welcome, welcome

Poet Appreciation: #5 Guest Poet

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 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.

Three guess on today’s most appropriate poem:

  • Nope, not Shakespeare–although it is Sonnet 43, it’s not his.
  • Nada–Dickinson has dashes, but not so much mush
  • Yup, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. And I know it’s almost cliché to have her famous Sonnet 43 as today’s poem (yes, though February was a couple of months ago, the 14th can still be a factor in choice), her love story is soooo romantic that it bears repeating–especially if you don’t know it.

ONCE upon a time, long ago, a young girl by the name of Elizabeth Barrett grew up with a very possessive and controlling father who had strange ideas about his children going off and getting married–like in “Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!” Even though the young Elizabeth was pretty much imprisoned in her house by her father (shades of princess needing a prince) she became a famous poet.

One day a dashing younger man by the name of Robert Browning read one of Miss Barrett’s books of poetry and wrote her a letter. She wrote back. He wrote back. Well, before you know it they became pen pals with a serious romance brewing.

Big, bad, Dad Barrett would not let Elizabeth and Robert marry, at least he did not give his consent. So, of course Robert, a prince of a fellow, rescues the lovely princess of poetry, and they elope off to Italy. And yes, they DID live happily ever after. Big, bad, Dad Barrett never forgave them, but the Brownings remained blissfully happy in their famous marriage of pen and passion.

Now, that’s a great literary romance tale. So let’s celebrate with some good old Peanuts:

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