1A. How do I love thee, let me count the ways.jpg

Illustration by Larry Torres

Whenever we ponder the greatest example of love though, it is not right to forget the total love expressed by the two poets, Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barret, who at first only carried on an amicable correspondence between them and ended up fulfilling a love that is found only in fairy tales.

It is a commonly-held belief that human beings can subsist with only little food and water but that they cannot last long without love. Be that love as deep and sophisticated as the Shakespearean sonnets between Romeo and Juliet: “My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love is deep; the more I give thee, the more I have for both are infinite.” It can also be as humble as the nursery rhymes of Mother Goose: “Roses are red. Violets are blue. Sugar is sweet and so are you.” Let us also recognize a little verse that used to be popular here in Taos: “I love you little. I love you big. I love you like a little pig.” 

Whenever we ponder the greatest example of love, though, it is not right to forget the total love expressed by the two poets, Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barret, who at first only carried on an amicable correspondence between them and ended up fulfilling a love that is found only in fairy tales. After a happy life, during which Mr. Browning dedicated himself to taking care of his invalid love, Elizabeth perished in his very arms in 1861.

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