For me, there has never been a second thought on what the best ever love poem and the poet are. It is the one and only Elizabeth Browning and her beautiful poem How do I love thee (See below. A beautiful reading by Helen Mirren is here in youtube).The Browning couple stands tall when it comes to some of the all time toppings in literary romantic poems. I remember my wife (then my fiancee) sharing a piece of Hindu Sunday literary supplement which had this poem. I have the sonnet etched back in my mind, even now!
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 a 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.
Ok, why did this pop up now? Well, in UK, apparently there was an opinion poll on the best one liner; the love one liner that is. Mind you, it is not the full fledged poem, or for that matter a full sonnet or stanza itself, just a one linear. Here are the 10 most popular according to the survey. Just ahead of the Valentines day, a good time pass! Happy reading and Happy Valentines day folks!
- ‘ Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same’ – Emily Bronte
- ‘If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you’ – A A Milne
- ‘But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun’ – Shakespeare ‘Romeo and Juliet’
- He was my North, my South, my East and West, My working week and my Sunday rest, My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song; I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong’ – W.H. Auden
- ‘You know you’re in love when you don’t want to fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams’ – Dr. Seuss
- ‘ When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots are become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part’ – ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’
- ‘Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be’ – Robert Browning
- For you see, each day I love you more. Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow’ – Rosemonde Gerard
- ‘But to see her was to love her, love but her, and love her forever’ – Robert Burns
- ‘I hope before long to press you in my arms and shall shower on you a million burning kisses as under the Equator’ – Napoleon Bonaparte’s 1796 dispatch to wife Josephine.