Sonnet XXIX Essay

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In the following essay, Mermin examines the critical response to Barrett Browning's works with regard to the content of the work and the sex (and gender) of the author.

"I love your verses with all my heart, dear Miss Barrett"—so began Robert Browning's first letter to the poet he was soon to meet, court, and marry. He went on to praise her poems' "fresh strange music, the affluent language, the exquisite pathos and true new brave thought." Such enthusiasm was not unusual then or later in the nineteenth century, for Elizabeth Barrett was a famous and respected writer whose work was considered learned, innovative, obscure, and difficult as well as expressive and moving. Rossetti, Morris, and Swinburne admired her intensely when they were young and impressionable and much Pre-Raphaelite poetry shows her influence. Her poems offered a vital energy, a new and compelling music, a bold engagement...

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This section contains 6,370 words
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Buy the Sonnet XXIX Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Sonnet XXIX from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.