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Life of Elizabeth Barrett Browning

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 07:13 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 64.4 
  • Words: 1971
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The main ideas of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poetic works changed constantly during her life,

due to significant events occuring

Spirituality was the main focus of Barrett’s writing from 1838 until 1844.   Poetry became such a

large part of her life due to a spinal injury in 1821 which left her relying on opium for a long period of

time.   As well as the ill-manners of her health, Barrett experienced the tragic death of her brother due to

drowning in the year of 1838.   These significant events left Barrett in a state of emotional turmoil.   She

found herself unable to live in the world of reality.   For four years, she seperated herself from reality by

locking herself in a bedroom.   During this time, the only persons she conversed with was her family and

one or two close friends.

It was during this period that poetry became such a signifacant part of Barrett’s life.   She began

to write about Jesus, Angels, and other significant biblical characters.   In the poem The Seraphim,   two

angels stand outside the Garden of Eden.   It is there they describe and praise God for his awesome

splendor and majesty.



“Of earth, the God-created and God praised

In hour of birth

Where everynight the moon in light

Doth lead waters silver faced?

Where every day the sun doth lay

A rapture to the heart of all

The leafy and reeded pastoral,

As if the joyous shout which burst

From angel lips to see him first,

Had left a silent echo in his ray?” (The Seraphim, 1838)



The poem is a deep reflection of what Barrett feels inside at this time in her life.   She is depressed,

lonely and full of agony because of all the aweful things which are happening, so she turns to spirituality.

She looks to God for renewal and strength, expressing his awesomeness in her poems, as she does

here when...

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