What are the similarities and differences of the poems "The Raven" and "How Do I Love Thee"?

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The speakers in both Romantic poems have experienced a profound love for someone. The intensity of the love the speaker expresses in "Sonnet 43" matches that of the speaker of "The Raven." Browning's speaker offers up the passion that she used to reserve for anger at "old griefs," while Poe's speaker describes "the lost Lenore" as nothing less than "a sainted maiden." In the conversation with the raven, the narrator expresses desire to reunite with his lover in his next life, a wish also expressed by Browning's speaker. Poe's speaker concludes the poem with the confession that he will never be able to move on from the loss of this woman whom he loved so deeply.


In "Sonnet 43," the person the speaker loves is still present; this is clear through the use of present tense and the lines "if God choose / I shall but love thee better after death." Meanwhile, the speaker of "The Raven" must refer, to himself and the raven, of his past love for a woman no longer living. Consequently, the tone of Poe's poem is much more despairing than Browning's.

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