Sonnet 43 Questions and Answers
by Elizabeth Barrett Moulton

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Summarize "Sonnet 43" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

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Probably the most famous love poem in literature, “Sonnet 43” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning was published in her 1850 book Sonnets from the Portuguese.  Written as personal love poems to her husband, Robert Browning, the sonnets were immediately popular and often quoted. The poems were numbered but unnamed.

This poem narrated by the poet speaks to the question of the depth of a person’s love for another.  The poem may be somewhat dated in its language, but the feelings expressed between lovers have not changed.  Browning’s Victorian, abstract poem asks the questions that are still pondered today.  

  • How does love feel?
  • How long does it last?
  • Is love a conflicting emotion?
  • How deep is my love?

Written in the form of a Petrarchan sonnet, the poem has fourteen lines, divided into a group of eight rhyming lines expressing a point and six rhyming lines referring to a slightly different idea. The verse is a lyric...

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