Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The language of a loving heart

Today I will write about love. I guess love is all around me these past days and its inevitable, I can not brush it off. As I was roaming around the library the yesterday looking for books I can read, I chanced upon this book entitled The Greatest Letters of all Times. It was an old book, hardbound and by the looks of it is old. I was not able to find out when the book was published but I was able to browse through its content. It was a compilation of letters written by the great people of history from Napoleon Bonaparte to Victor Hugo, Dostoyevsky and other great men. The topics ranged from pleading for mercy, to waging war and of course love letters. Of course I immediately went to the section on love letters and I was touched by the love story of two greatest poets as illustrated in the love letters they sent to each other: Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett.
Robert Browning first heard of Elizabeth Barrett through her poems. Elizabeth then who only had admiration to Browning because of his works was immediately impressed when he sent her a letter telling her of how he was touched by her poems. From this initial exchange of letters, Elizabeth Barrett became Elizabeth Browning even against his father's liking. She was never forgiven by her father and yet the love story that she shared with Browning is considered as one of the most celebrated romance of all time. With this feeling Elizabeth got the inspiration to write her most popular work ever, 43 of Sonnets from the Portuegese and it read:

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 everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the 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 language of the heart does transcend time and it pierces through the soul of anyone who has known love. I personally feel that the poem is what it is now because it is clearly the language of a loving heart, a heart that was freed and dared to give everything for love.

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