Robert Browning – The First Rapper

Robert Browning

After watching the old movie – “The Barretts of Wimpole Street” – I wanted more of Robert Browning, the exuberant Victorian who loved and saved Elizabeth from a dreary spinsterly life with her overbearing father.  Famous for writing The Pied Piper of Hamlin, Browning celebrated his bicentenary in May – although few noticed. His birthday falls on May 7th, but the celebration at Westminster Abbey’s Poet’s Corner is scheduled for December – but then so many other important events have overtaken Britain this year (including Charles Dickens).

His poetry could be obscure; in the movie Browning cannot satisfy Elizabeth’s plea to explain his meaning in “Sordello.”  Only Browning and God knew his meaning when he wrote it and now only God knew.  His dramatic monologues  and long narratives (My Last Duchess) are credited as the precursors of Sylvia Plath and Robert Frost – and possibly Eminem in music.

Yet, he may be best remembered for his love for Elizabeth, their years together in Italy, and the poetry they inspired in each other.

How do I love thee, let me count the ways…Elizabeth Barrett Browning  – from “Sonnets from the Portuguese”

Grow old along with me! the best is yet to be…Robert Browning – from “Rabbi Ben Ezra”

Clasped Hands of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning by Harriet Goodhue Hosmer

A Sex in the City Primer for Making Your Own Valentine Card

Love Letters of Great Men is really a book, first published in 1924 – but not many had heard about it before Carrie Bradshaw read it in bed to Mr. Big in Sex and the City.

You can pick from Napoleon’s letter to his Josephine or Beethoven writing to his Immortal Beloved –

“…never misjudge the most faithful heart of your beloved, ever thine, ever mine, ever ours…”

Of course, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnet 43 is timeless.

“How do I love thee; let me count the ways…”

or John Updike…”We are most alive when we’re in love…”

Too much schmaltz for you?   How about Lisa McCourt’s  I Love You Stinky Face?

I found a site for free printable Valentine cards

just add the words…