Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)|
from Sonnets from the Portuguese
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
The forty-four poems that became Sonnets from the Portuguese were written by the future Mrs. Browning between 1845 and 1846 while she was being courted by Robert Browning. They were first published in 1850 in her Poems with the 1856 edition containing most of the desired revisions and corrections. (A supposed 1847 edition of the Sonnets by themselves was later proven a hoax.)
It is thought that the title was meant to shroud some of the personal nature of the poems by implying they were a translation of an older work. The link between the contents of these poems and her correspondance with Robert are detailed in the introduction to Dow's edition. Harmon notes that the title Sonnets Translated from the Bosnian was also considered.
Sonnett XLIII can be found, for example, in: