Monday, January 10, 2005

How do you love this? Count the ways.

It was on this day in 1845 that poet Robert Browning penned a letter to another poet whom he greatly admired -- Elizabeth Barrett. Over the course of the next twenty months, a total of 575 letters passed between the two as their instant friendship caught fire and they found themselves in love.

You know the rest -- they got married and we got Sonnets from the Portugese from Elizabeth. Robert didn't write much during their 15-year marriage, but several years after Elizabeth's death he produced his greatest work, The Ring and the Book.

I've been thinking about them both all morning, remembering snippets from those late-in-life works of Robert's, in particular, and thinking how glad I am that his bold fan letter was not lost in the mail.


Anonymous said...

I think that is the best way to get to know someone is to write back to each other, it is a lost art form.
Is this book still in print The Ring and the Book,
I have to read it!
J from Mo.

Brenda Coulter said...

J from Mo, if you haven't read any Browning, I wouldn't recommend that as a starting place. Just go for a book of selected poems. When you read "My Last Duchess" and "Pauline", think of me. Those are old favorites of mine, the first bits of Browning I ever read, way back when the earth was new and I was a starry-eyed teenager.