Depressing or Inspiring?

Sonnet 43 is a mixture of feelings. In the beginning of the poem it seems perhaps romantic, but cliche and common. Elizabeth Barrett Browning uses words such as “feelings”, “soul” and “purely”; using images of light sources and physical, tangible metaphors. At this point, in the center of the poem, I feel love is portrayed as a measurable yet powerful, sweet but profound, and sincere yet comprehended. However, the second half of poem takes a different tone. Gravitating towards greif and loss, there is a strength of love measured by the power of passion in grief and naive faith. There is love found in loosing her family. Love is discovered in a darker world. Nevertheless, her poem sustains a sentimental love inconsistently with opposite spectrums of life. In the final words of the poem, the true intention of this poem is revealed: “Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.” This poems becomes an honest confession of her heart. This passage defines love as something that not only surpasses death, but possibly is liberated by death. Could this poem be a message to her love to comfort her own death? In my opinion, this sonnet clearly portrays love as sentimental, unconditional and eternal.

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