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27th Virtual Poetry Circle

It’s a new year and a new classic poem for the 27th Virtual Poetry Circle.

OK, Here’s a poem up for reactions, interaction, and–dare I say it–analysis:

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s books suggested. Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Beloved, my Beloved . . . (a sonnet)
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Beloved, my Beloved, when I think 
That thou wast in the world a year ago,
What time I sate alone here in the snow
And saw no footprint, heard the silence sink
No moment at thy voice ... but, link by link,
Went counting all my chains, as if that so
They never could fall off at any blow
Struck by thy possible hand ... why, thus I drink
Of life's great cup of wonder! Wonderful,
Never to feel thee thrill the day or night
With personal act or speech,—nor ever cull
Some prescience of thee with the blossoms white
Thou sawest growing! Atheists are as dull,
Who cannot guess God's presence out of sight.

Let me know your thoughts, ideas, feelings, impressions. Let’s have
a great discussion…pick a line, pick an image, pick a sentence.

I’ve you missed the other Virtual Poetry Circles, check them out here. It’s never too late to join the discussion.

  • Valerie

    I just happened to buy Browning's "Sonnets from the Portugese" the other day (an used edition of the Dover Thrift Edition; nothing fancy)! I haven't gotten too deep into it yet,so I don't know if this poem is there.

    It seems to me that she is expressing wonder that her love and her managed to exist before they met…like "my life was nothing before I met you".

  • Serena

    I really like the hopeful nature of this poem even though the narrator is in the depths of despair. Some of this poem is a bit confusing, but I'm glad to see that people are still testing the waters.

  • Jeanne

    This is a poem about hope–that her beloved was in the world a year ago, when she was alone and in despair, and she didn't know of his existence yet. My favorite line is "life's great cup of wonder!" I like the idea that there can always be wonders just around the corner.

  • Anna

    From the last two lines it sounds like she's talking about how people believe in God though they don't see Him and connecting it somehow to the lover she no longer sees. But I must admit, I too, got a little lost in this one.

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

  • Toni

    I seem to recall this one…However…I got a little lost myself. It seems she is lamenting over a love that had died. Having some regrets. I need to think a bit more on this one….

  • Jenners

    I must confess … I got a little lost after the first few lines. I like how it started out though. This is one where I would have to read it more carefully to fully "get" it.