Two heartsĀ #poetry #Italy #London #poets #love #January

On the 10th January, 1845, poet Robert Browning wrote to poet Elizabeth Barrett declaring
“I love your verses (her latest collection of poems) with all my heart dear Miss Barrett… – and I love you.” 
And so on this day began a courtship by correspondence of two beautiful poets.  

They did not actually meet until the May; Elizabeth was bedridden in a darkened room and suffering from an undiagnosed ailment. Browning waited patiently and longingly and remained undeterred in his affection for her. His weekly visits to Wimpole Street, central London were a restorative to her health.  

Thus proving that love, love-letters, love-thoughts and love poetry are deeply effective remedies.

They were married in secret in September 1846 at The Mary-le-Bone Church in Marylebone, and eloped to the mild climes and less expensive life in Italy.  

Poet, William Wordsworth is reported to have commented, “Well, I hope they understand one another – nobody else would.”

Thankfully (Mr Wordsworth) they absolutely did.

And so to you I say this, find someone who loves and understands you; someone you think about a little bit more than everyone else around you, and tell them…it will make them feel so much better.

‘The face of all the world is changed I think

Since first I heard the footsteps of thy soul…’

Elizabeth Barrett Browning: ‘Sonnets from the Portuguese’ VII

‘…And a voice less loud, thro’ its joys and fears,

Than two hearts beating each to each!’

Robert Browning: ‘Meeting At Night.’

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‘Never the Time and the Place’

May is an inspiring time for poets. A fresh green carpet of newness, buds, flowers ready to bloom, fruits to come, warmer air & circling swallows; the year is promising, bright & full of beauty & optimism. At the age of 70, Robert Browning (who resolved to become a poet age 14) composed these lines just after his May birthday in 1882: ‘Never the time and the place And the loved one all together! This path – how soft to pace! This May – what magic weather! Did he take a walk around Regent’s Park, steps away from the Marylebone church where he’d married his wife Elizabeth (now, long dead) wishing her to be with him…in this time, this place, on these paths? I wish I could ask him. Parks are full of lonely wanderers & poets love them. They clear your head & stimulate new ideas, mix these ideas with a dreamy countenance, a play on words, nature & love, and poetry flows… ‘Through the magic of May to herself indeed!’