August 17, 2011

How do we love to parody Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnet 43? Let me recount some ways...


“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
       English poet
       The famous opening words of Sonnet 43, from her
Sonnets from the Portuguese (written 1845-46, published 1850)
       Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett fell deeply in love after meeting at her father’s home in 1845. Elizabeth soon began writing a series of poems expressing her love for Robert. Robert was soon calling her by the pet name
“my little Portuguese,” a reference to her dark hair and complexion. In 1846, they eloped. Four years later, the love poems Elizabeth had written for Robert before they married were published in an anthology of her poetry, under the collective title Sonnets from the Portuguese. Sonnet 43 is the best known. Its ten opening words are among the most famous — and most parodied — bits of poetry in the English language.


“How do I hate GLEE? Let me count the ways. For starters, this is a saccharine snorefest. And don’t even get me started on gleeks, autotune, the characters…”
Daniel Bettridge
       British TV and film critic
In a review posted on The Guardian’s TV & Radio Blog on March 15, 2010


“Is Mitt Romney, well-coiffed automobile heir and consulting savant, weird? Let us count the ways.”
Juli Weiner
       Former writer now on the staff of Vanity Fair magazine
In a post on Vanity Fair’s “VF Daily” blog, August 9, 2011


“Ah, Nancy how do I love thee, let me count the ways. You stimulate me to no end. My heart flutters when I think about your passing Obamacare. And of course we all know you come from that wonderful city of San Francisco that so embraces our core American values like a collective hate of the McDonald’s Happy Meal.”
Dr. Richard Swier
       Conservative blogger and host of the Dr. Rich Show, a Florida-based radio talk show
a November 14, 2010 post bashing Nancy Pelosi, on the “Red County” website


“How Much Do I Love Ryan Gosling’s Arms? Let Me Count The Ways.
1. They’re huge.
2. They can envelop a pack of wild animals.
3. They were in Young Hercules. (LOL)
4. He can probably crush a can of spinach with the contents flying directly into his mouth Popeye-style.
5. He could probably grill paninis in between his hands.
6. He can hoist Al Roker up over his head, Dirty Dancing style.” 
Michelle Collins 
       American comedian and Managing Editor of VH1’s site
       Gushing about Gosling in
a July 20, 2011 blog post, after seeing him in an appearance on the Today Show.

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Further reading: by and about Elizabeth Barrett Browning…

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