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How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. (Sonnet 43)

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. (Sonnet 43)


by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. (Sonnet 43) Identity Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (line)

Quote #1

How do I love thee? (1)

In this sonnet, the speaker establishes her own identity by thinking about the relationship that she has with her beloved. By asking "How do I love thee?" she also asks "Who am I and what kind of love do I feel?"

Quote #2

I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith. (10-11)

In these lines, the speaker hints at other aspects of her personality besides her love for "thee." She has "old griefs," things in her past that she's bitter about. She's also separated from the innocent faith in the world that she was able to feel as a child. All this suggests that she's a bit more mature and jaded than you might expect the speaker of a love poem to be.

Quote #3

if God choose (13)

Throughout this poem, the speaker seems all-powerful, conquering everything around her with her love. However, at the very end of the poem, she admits that there are limits to her power: she will only be able to keep loving "thee" after death if God allows her to do so.

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