Please explain the main themes of Robert Browning's poem "Two in the Campagna".

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The poem “Two in the Campagna” by Robert Browning is a love poem addressed to his wife, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. In the poem, the narrator recalls being seated outdoors in rural Italy; the particular moment has some obvious significance in the history of their relationship, and he wonders if those moments of peak emotion can actually be sustained, and whether there is a fault in their relationship if they cannot. The narrator observes the profusion and diversity of nature and comparing it to the profusion and diversity of his own thoughts and ideas. The poem concludes with a version of Browning’s “doctrine of imperfection” in stating that although perhaps moments of perfect emotional intensity are rare, they remain a constant reminder of their own possibilities, and thus their rareness is not a sign of failure of love but of its possibilities.


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