Questions tagged [elizabeth-barrett-browning]

For questions about the life and works of the Victorian-era English poetess Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806 – 1861).

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1answer
322 views

Who are the “men of the west” who eat clay in “Aurora Leigh”?

In Aurora Leigh (1856) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora's cousin Romney Leigh complains about the character of the times: We’re too materialistic,—eating clay, (Like men of the west) instead of ...
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48 views

Why is Romney’s pattern “on his nail” in “Aurora Leigh”?

In Aurora Leigh (1856) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the character Romney Leigh has a “pattern on his nail”: To think,—I have a pattern on my nail, And I will carve the world new after it, And solve ...
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68 views

How does “the socket drop them through” in “Aurora Leigh”?

In book V of Aurora Leigh (1856) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sir Blaise claims that in former days men chose their wives for their virtue and not for their décolletage: “My dear young friend, if ...
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66 views

What does “men in us” refer to in “Aurora Leigh”?

In book VI of Aurora Leigh (1856) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the heroine collides with a man in the streets of Paris: A gentleman abstracted as myself Came full against me, then resolved the ...
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83 views

What is the correspondence of flowers with the spirit-world in Elizabeth Browning’s “Aurora Leigh”?

In book V of Aurora Leigh (1856) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the narrator says:                 there’s not a flower of spring, That dies ere June, but vaunts itself allied By issue and symbol, by ...
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1answer
89 views

What inspired the "fakir in a box" in Elizabeth Browning's "Aurora Leigh"?

In book V of Aurora Leigh (1856) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the narrator makes an elaborate simile between the condition of the Earth in the interval between the Fall and the Incarnation, and a ...
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84 views

What inspired the “lava-lymph” in Elizabeth Browning’s “Aurora Leigh”?

In book V of Aurora Leigh (1856) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the narrator asks herself what she expects to achieve in her poetry:                                           Shall I hope To speak my ...
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200 views

What's the significance of “Collegisse juvat” in Aurora Leigh's fan-mail?

In book III of Aurora Leigh (1856) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the narrator, who has published some popular poems, reads her fan-mail, which includes: … rarer tokens from young bachelors, Who ...
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1answer
82 views

Why is it a mistake to “eliminate” rather than “analyse” in "Aurora Leigh"?

In book I of Aurora Leigh (1856) by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the eponymous narrator describes the process of forming her values and beliefs out of a throng of idées reçus:                          ...
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99 views

What does Elizabeth Browning mean by "turning up their under-natures"?

In book I of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora Leigh (1856), the eponymous narrator describes the experience of reading poetry:                                 But the sun was high When first I ...
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207 views

Why is Aurora Leigh proud of “colonising beehives” in the poem by Elizabeth Browning?

In book 2 of Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora’s cousin Romney doubts there is any value in women writing poetry:                                               ‘Who has time, An ...
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237 views

What is ‘the secret of Da Vinci’s drains’ in ‘Aurora Leigh’?

In book I of Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the speaker sketches the character of her father: My father was an austere Englishman, Who, after a dry life-time spent at home In ...
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1answer
1k views

Who inspired Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poem "Mother and Poet"?

"Mother and Poet" is an emotional and moving poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning about a woman poet who loses both her sons in battles in Italy. The emotions seem so raw that one might assume it ...
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176 views

Meaning of "I shut my tongue against my fly"

From Aurora Leigh: Poor child! I would have mended it with gold, Until it gleamed like St. Sophia's dome When all the faithful troop to morning prayer: But he, he nipped the bud of such a ...
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1answer
46 views

Meaning of "not conclude at yours"

From Aurora Leigh: Have you learnt No more of women, 'spite of privilege, Than still to take account too seriously Of such weak flutterings? Why, we like it, sir,– We get our powers and ...
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50 views

Meaning of "who bespoke our place so far in the east"

From Aurora Leigh: So it is: We covet for the soul, the body's part, To die and rot. Even so, Aurora, ends Our aspiration, who bespoke our place So far in the east. What is the meaning ...
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68 views

Meaning of "that all the towns make offal of their daughters for its use on summer-nights"

From Aurora Leigh: Thus is Art Self-magnified in magnifying a truth Which, fully recognized, would change the world And shift its morals. If a man could feel, Not one day, in the artist's ...
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82 views

Meaning of "He says it still of truth, which is his own" (in "Aurora Leigh")

From Aurora Leigh: The book has some truth in it, I believe: And truth outlives pain, as the soul does life. I know we talk our Phædons to the end Through all the dismal faces that we make, ...
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1answer
85 views

Meaning of "and beauty keeps itself still uppermost" (Aurora Leigh by Liz Browning)

From Aurora Leigh: Until at last, as one, whose heart being sad On hearing lovely music, suddenly Dissolves in weeping, I brake out in tears Before her . . asked her counsel . . 'had I erred ...
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85 views

Meaning of "to risk, in turn, a woman's paradox"

From Aurora Leigh: To have our books Appraised by love, associated with love, While we sit loveless! is it hard, you think? At least 'tis mournful. Fame, indeed, 'twas said, Means simply ...
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129 views

Meaning of "gambled" in "whose wasted right hand gambled against his left" (Aurora Leigh)

From Aurora Leigh - what is the meaning of gambled here? It's hard to understand. I first thought his wasted right hand was somehow pinned to his left one using the brass button, but the dictionaries ...
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123 views

Meaning of "I own myself incredulous of confidence like this availing him or you"

From Aurora Leigh: '- That is said Austerely, like a youthful prophetess, Who knits her brows across her pretty eyes To keep them back from following the grey flight Of doves between the ...
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183 views

Meaning of "you wear your blue so chiefly in your eyes ... it comforts me entirely for your fame" in Aurora Leigh

From Aurora Leigh: She said her name quite simply, as if it meant Not much indeed, but something,–took my hands, And smiled, as if her smile could help my case, And dropped her eyes on me, ...
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229 views

What is "vulgar white of personal aims"? Why is it "white"?

From Aurora Leigh by Elizabeth Barrett Browning: 'I have not stood long on the strand of life, And these salt waters have had scarcely time To creep so high up as to wet my feet. I cannot ...
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295 views

To what extent is Aurora Leigh autobiographical?

I've been reading Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Aurora Leigh, and as I read through Aurora's early life and adolescence, I came to wonder if the poem was inspired at all by Barrett Browning's own ...