My Special Guest tonight is…

Elizabeth Barrett Browing and A Man’s Requirements

I do consider myself a fair man when it comes to the opposite sex; most of the time, which is the very reason why I chose this poem. I don’t assume to know the meaning of it particularly because of the era it was written. Today though, I think any woman writing this may very well be sticking two fingers up to men. And good on them I say!

Its the last verse that gives it away. You can almost hear the sarcastic undertone as she’s writing. It could be the prelude to a ‘I want a divorce dear’; sweet.

Then again it maybe that Elizabeth was trying to tell her husband something as it is said that during the years of her marriage to Robert Browning, her literary reputation far surpassed that of her poet-husband. When visitors came to their home she was always the greater attraction.

Regardless of any meaning though I hope you enjoy.

A Man’s Requirements

Love me Sweet, with all thou art,

Feeling, thinking, seeing;

Love me in the lightest part,

Love me in full being.

 

Love me with thine open youth

In its frank surrender;

With the vowing of thy mouth,

With its silence tender.

 

Love me with thine azure eyes,

Made for earnest granting;

Taking colour from the skies,

Can Heaven’s truth be wanting?

 

Love me with their lids, that fall

Snow-like at first meeting;

Love me with thine heart, that all

Neighbours then see beating.

 

Love me with thine hand stretched out

Freely—open-minded:

Love me with thy loitering foot,—

Hearing one behind it.

 

Love me with thy voice, that turns

Sudden faint above me;

Love me with thy blush that burns

When I murmur Love me!

 

Love me with thy thinking soul,

Break it to love-sighing;

Love me with thy thoughts that roll

On through living—dying.

 

Love me when in thy gorgeous airs,

When the world has crowned thee;

Love me, kneeling at thy prayers,

With the angels round thee.

 

Love me pure, as musers do,

Up the woodlands shady:

Love me gaily, fast and true

As a winsome lady.

 

Through all hopes that keep us brave,

Farther off or nigher,

Love me for the house and grave,

And for something higher.

 

Thus, if thou wilt prove me, Dear,

Woman’s love no fable.

I will love thee—half a year—

As a man is able.

 

 

 

 

There She Was

I saw her today

Like nothing had changed

There she was

The blast from my past

Oh flutter my butterflies

But she’s oblivious to my eyes

Should I call out her name?

Would she remember mine?

It’s been a long time since our infatuation

So young then, so much older now

Best kept in the good ole annals of time

At the bottom of Memory Lane

 

Copyright © JRFC May 2019
Image by suju from Pixabay