breath smiles tears

How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of being and ideal grace. I love thee to the level of every day’s Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for right. I love thee purely, as they turn from praise. I love thee with the passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.

GIF thanks to @the-sassynach

Browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning goes up to the counter. The barista begins to speak to her in perfect meter, asking what she’d like to drink. Not missing a beat, she responds:

“How do I take my coffee? Let me count the ways.

With cream and sugar, syrups, foam, milk - light.

You never reach the bottom with a trenta’s height,

For the ends of frappuccinos ne’er have Grace.

I take it in the morning with the rays

Of that great sun, and drink ‘till full daylight.

I take it freely, as men strive for Right;

I take it purely, as they turn from Praise.

I take it with Passion put to use

In Tazo teas, and with my childhood’s faith.

I take it rapidly and never lose

A single drop, — I take it with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all baristas!—and, if God choose,

I would drink coffee daily until death.”

Moments later, barista and customer join hands and run off to Italy together. This turns out not to be a great career move for the barista, because he can’t find a single Starbucks anywhere.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
—  Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1806-1861
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
—  Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnets from the Portuguese
I want morning and noon and nightfall with you. I want your tears, your smiles, your kisses…the smell of your hair, the taste of your skin, the touch of your breath on my face. I want to see you in the final hour of my life…to lie in your arms as I take my last breath.
—  Lisa Kleypas, Again the Magic
I thought love was — big and loud and sudden, like a thunderbolt. I didn’t know it was deep and quiet and grew upon a woman slowly, until one day she realizes it’s the very breath and smiles and tears of her life.
—  Dianne K. Salerni, The Caged Graves

Sonnets from the Portuguese. Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Illustrations and cover design by Margaret Armstrong. New York: Putnam, 1902.

“I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.”

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
—  Sonnet 43 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

For for me
you are not
just a human.
You are the stars.
Ugh, you are my world.
My universe.
The promise of forever.
You are everything and nothing.
The sun that shines upon me.
The song that sends me to sleep. The evening that gives me peace.
The twilight.
The dawn.
A paradise.
You are a flower that unfurls.
As cold as winter.
You freeze my bones like ice.
You are flaming like fire.
You are heaven
and hell combined.
You are my life.
My breathing.
My tears.
My smiles.
My waking up.
My downfall.

You are mine.
Oh fuck, you are mine.
And I am the luckiest person ever lived.
Because you are mine.

—  s.c// beloved ( sandarafreedompark )