Today is Elizabeth Barrett Browning's birthday and in honor of that, I'd like to share her Sonnet 43, which is perhaps her best known poem. It's certainly the first encounter I had with her, through the magnet with the poem and the rainbow etched behind it that used to hang on our refrigerator. Living in so many places, the appliances and walls, even the addresses change, but the items remain the same in your home and that magnet is one that stands out. May poems and books inhabit your dwelling and our world.
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 every day'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.
My best to you all,