Of the many poems I have stumbled across and read throughout my life, there are two which speak to me always and which are my absolute favourites.  The first is Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s ‘How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.’  The second is Leo Marks’ ‘The life that I have’.

Why are these my favourites?  Because Elizabeth Barrett Browning possessed the gift of being able to turn mere words into something sublime, and because Leo Marks summed up everything I feel towards the love of my life, my husband.  I make no apologies for soppiness 🙂

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 every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love with a 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.

 The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
Is yoursThe love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours.
A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause
For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours.

5 thoughts on “Writing 201: Poetry – Favourite poems

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