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Robert Browning's Poetry

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The poems are ordered chronologically according to their first appearance in book form. Thirteen new poems are included in this edition, with Pauline now printed in its entirety. Annotations have been revised throughout to clarify Browning's references and vocabulary."Criticism" retains the important contextual perspective of the First Edition. The twenty-three essays, nin The poems are ordered chronologically according to their first appearance in book form. Thirteen new poems are included in this edition, with Pauline now printed in its entirety. Annotations have been revised throughout to clarify Browning's references and vocabulary."Criticism" retains the important contextual perspective of the First Edition. The twenty-three essays, nine of which are new, are divided into three sections: "Victorian Views," "Modern Essays in Criticism," and "Interpretations of Poems." A Chronology, Selected Bibliography, and Index of Titles and First Lines are also included.


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The poems are ordered chronologically according to their first appearance in book form. Thirteen new poems are included in this edition, with Pauline now printed in its entirety. Annotations have been revised throughout to clarify Browning's references and vocabulary."Criticism" retains the important contextual perspective of the First Edition. The twenty-three essays, nin The poems are ordered chronologically according to their first appearance in book form. Thirteen new poems are included in this edition, with Pauline now printed in its entirety. Annotations have been revised throughout to clarify Browning's references and vocabulary."Criticism" retains the important contextual perspective of the First Edition. The twenty-three essays, nine of which are new, are divided into three sections: "Victorian Views," "Modern Essays in Criticism," and "Interpretations of Poems." A Chronology, Selected Bibliography, and Index of Titles and First Lines are also included.

30 review for Robert Browning's Poetry

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alok Mishra

    Norton's critical editions never fail to impress me! This one has good poems by Browning and also, perhaps, the most authentic text available in the market. I also like the notes and opinions at the end of the book which takes understanding poetry of Browning to a further level... I would advise this edition to any reader who is seeking Browning's collection.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    Very impressed by Browning's dramatic monologs, "Fra Lippo Lippi," "Andrea Del Sarto," "My Last Duchess,""Soliloquy in the Spanish Cloister," and "Caliban" reacting to Darwin. But I also read his formidable long poem, the "Ring and the Book," a mystery as I recall--from reading it a half-century ago in a grad school survey of Victorian Lit with G Robert Stange, who left our U Minnesota to chair at Tufts. The monologs I taught yearly in English Lit sophomore surveys, my most advanced course at co Very impressed by Browning's dramatic monologs, "Fra Lippo Lippi," "Andrea Del Sarto," "My Last Duchess,""Soliloquy in the Spanish Cloister," and "Caliban" reacting to Darwin. But I also read his formidable long poem, the "Ring and the Book," a mystery as I recall--from reading it a half-century ago in a grad school survey of Victorian Lit with G Robert Stange, who left our U Minnesota to chair at Tufts. The monologs I taught yearly in English Lit sophomore surveys, my most advanced course at community colleges until I began teaching Shakespeare.

  3. 4 out of 5

    J. Alfred

    You know that obnoxious comedian/impressionist who somehow landed a gig on football related television, Frank Calliendo? Well, reading Browning is like watching an infinitely more talented version of that guy. He pretty much takes on new personas as he writes; it is astonishing. You can tell why Pound and Eliot loved the guy. Anyway, he is also great at sort of redelivering the gospel message, so you can see again how intensely surprising it is: the best poems in the collection (and this never h You know that obnoxious comedian/impressionist who somehow landed a gig on football related television, Frank Calliendo? Well, reading Browning is like watching an infinitely more talented version of that guy. He pretty much takes on new personas as he writes; it is astonishing. You can tell why Pound and Eliot loved the guy. Anyway, he is also great at sort of redelivering the gospel message, so you can see again how intensely surprising it is: the best poems in the collection (and this never happens) are ones that I'd never come across before, probably because they are both very long and polemically Christian. The 'Epistle of Karshish' one, "Cleon", "Ned Bratts", and the stupendous "Death in the Desert" are the ones I mean specifically, but most were pretty great. Browning is generally fantastic if one has the patience for him. Sometimes, though, he can be a little, uh, wordy. For instance, "Mr Sludge, the 'Medium'" is something like 1400 lines long, that is, longer than book two of Paradise Lost. So, yeah. Bring your lunch.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jake

    I read him in high school and in college, and while I read only a smattering of his work, two of his poems alone deserve a four star rating. "Porphyria's Lover" and "My Last Duchess" are both chilling examples of men gone mad. PL, a disturbing study in psychotic love and necrophilia, has a rhyme and meter that makes the topic all the more unnerving in its simplistic delivery. Browning is a genius in terms of how he unmasks his speaker's madness. MLD, a stunning look at arrogance and power shifts, I read him in high school and in college, and while I read only a smattering of his work, two of his poems alone deserve a four star rating. "Porphyria's Lover" and "My Last Duchess" are both chilling examples of men gone mad. PL, a disturbing study in psychotic love and necrophilia, has a rhyme and meter that makes the topic all the more unnerving in its simplistic delivery. Browning is a genius in terms of how he unmasks his speaker's madness. MLD, a stunning look at arrogance and power shifts, dissects a Duke who casually discusses the diappearance of his first wife with a friend as he strolls through his collection of art. The writing here is absolutely first rate, with lines such as "She had a heart – how shall I say? – too soon made glad..." and "I gave commands; then all smiles stopped together" making my head race with envy of his writing. The sharp reader will deduce that his jealousy of her philandering ways made him have her killed or locked up in a convent, but the way Browning leads you to this questionable conclusion is beautiful. If you don't know poetry, at least put some Browning into your early attempts at true knowledge. He is, simply, that good.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Linden

    It was an introduction to Robert Browning through Stopford A. Brooke's book ‘The Poetry of Robert Browning’, written in 1903 (available as a free kindle!) that inspired me to read and enjoy very much this Penguin Collection. Here is how Stopford describes what makes Browning a great poet: “Browning’s noblest legacy to that wavering, faithless, pessimistic, analysis tortured world through which we have fought our way, and out of which we are emerging, is the sense of things which cannot be shaken, It was an introduction to Robert Browning through Stopford A. Brooke's book ‘The Poetry of Robert Browning’, written in 1903 (available as a free kindle!) that inspired me to read and enjoy very much this Penguin Collection. Here is how Stopford describes what makes Browning a great poet: “Browning’s noblest legacy to that wavering, faithless, pessimistic, analysis tortured world through which we have fought our way, and out of which we are emerging, is the sense of things which cannot be shaken, of faith in God, wholly independent, in its depths, of storms on the surface of mortal life. He refused to make his poetry the servant to the transient, of the changing elements in the world.” The poems are easier to read and understand as one becomes more familiar with his writing. They are quite astonishing in their variety and depth of seeing. He was not as Stopford describes, "a man sympathising from without with Nature. He is part of Nature herself; a living piece of the great organism, having his own rejoicing life in the mightier life which includes him... To him the world was one joyous mind." Glad to have discovered Browning and commune with a great Poet!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    Elizabeth Barrett was an outstanding poet in her day. She was considered a superior poet to her husband until after her death when his fame grew. Now she is known for Sonnets from the Portuguese, love poems to her husband. As a young man he was influenced by the romantic poets Byron, Shelly and Keats and collected his first work at age 12. By the time he returned to England after his wife's death his popularity had grown considerably. He was amused by the formation of The Browning Society but ev Elizabeth Barrett was an outstanding poet in her day. She was considered a superior poet to her husband until after her death when his fame grew. Now she is known for Sonnets from the Portuguese, love poems to her husband. As a young man he was influenced by the romantic poets Byron, Shelly and Keats and collected his first work at age 12. By the time he returned to England after his wife's death his popularity had grown considerably. He was amused by the formation of The Browning Society but eventually became flattered by it. He was in constant demand for parties and literary appearances. He was intending to move to Italy permanently when he died of pneumonia at his son's home in Venice.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Vicky Hunt

    I enjoy the fluid movement of Browning's lines. I've reread them many times.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jasmiina F

    I read so little poetry that I'm not sure what's good and not. I bought this from Ireland because I've always wanted to own "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" and it was wonderful to get to read it in this collection of Robert Browning's poems. He has an interesting style, because all the poems are kind of stories, some quite long. I didn't love all the poems but I found some really great ones.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rosalind

    For me, Browning is just the best. He can be as light as a souffle (but with a sharp kick), and achingly profound. He can build characters and he can be terrifying - not many psychological thrillers can be so chilling so succinctly as Porphyria's Lover, and he can capture the sweetness of first love. He's also shamefully neglected.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    One of my favourite poets. Others dislike it, but 'Porphyria's lover' is a great poem. Not because of what happens in the poem, because of all the feminist theory that can be drawn from it, and above all the struggle of love that it represents.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tom Fogarty

    Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister is the greatest poem I have ever read. The narrators un-quenching thirst for revenge is unparallel and the forays from soliloquy to actual human encounter is quite amazing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Browning, why are you such a genius? "Andrea del Sarto", "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came", and "Meeting at Night" are among my favorites in the anthology.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Len

    Different edition. But in 150 years this book will be as read, and as readable, as it is today.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Davis Stamford

    I have been a longtime fan of Robert Browning, a man whose most important works were not realized until after his death, like Porphyria's Lover, an incredible poem.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Saumya Kaushik...

    Pauline: was formally a dramatic monologue but it 'embodied' many of the poet's 'adolescent passions and anxieties'. The poems reveal the impact of Shelly on young browning.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Clare Bear

    I love the poem Porphyria's Lover.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anomander Rake

    Rather inconsistent. Since these are the selected poems as opposed to the complete works, I'd expect more. However, the editor of this edition might be to blame for picking subpar poems. Whatever the case, I can't give it a five star rating. However, some poems are really brilliant and everyone who loves poetry should read Browning.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nick Backas

    This definitely took effort to get through, but I'm glad I did. I read the first half over 3 months and the last half over 5 days, and the momentum built up by reading poems back to back was a fruitful reading experience.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Irving

    so many good hairstyles

  20. 4 out of 5

    BookAholic12

    Currently participating in a 36h readathon! Interesting, capturing. I'll have to find out more about this poet.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    We read 'Porphyria's Lover', 'My Last Duchess' and 'Fra Lippo Lippi'.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Browning offers poetic drama like no other. An artist of storytelling in prose.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    Time to re-read and re-assess

  24. 4 out of 5

    Casey

    Robert Browning is certainly a man of intellect and genius. However, reading his poetry is difficult. Not simply from the obscurity of the subject manner, but his writing is dense and at times inarticulate. The dramatic monologues are the best. The characterizations are really wonderful, and he creates diverse, complicated plots. Browning is a lover of Italy, the Renaissance, and the Greeks. It's hard to believe he was an Englishman, as his subject manner really takes the reader to another place. Robert Browning is certainly a man of intellect and genius. However, reading his poetry is difficult. Not simply from the obscurity of the subject manner, but his writing is dense and at times inarticulate. The dramatic monologues are the best. The characterizations are really wonderful, and he creates diverse, complicated plots. Browning is a lover of Italy, the Renaissance, and the Greeks. It's hard to believe he was an Englishman, as his subject manner really takes the reader to another place. He can be so challenging to read that it can be hard to appreciate his poetry. He doesn't really write beautiful, elegant phrases, yet there is a rhythm to his poetry that evinces the subject manner well. Most of the subject manner are of historical figures, real or imagined. Few romance or nature poems here, which I suppose sets Browning apart from typical poetry. My favorites: My Last Duchess, Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came, Bishop Blougram's Apology.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lady Dixie

    I often envision Elizabeth Barrett Browning saying to her husband, "You know, Bob, I love your poetry, but all these dukes having their wives bumped off and spurned lovers strangling women with their own hair are creeping me out. And all those obscure literary allusions -- I mean really, give me something I can use." EBB was more popular than her husband during their lifetimes. What I love about Robert Browning is his willingness to examine the more seemy side of life and to unapologetically port I often envision Elizabeth Barrett Browning saying to her husband, "You know, Bob, I love your poetry, but all these dukes having their wives bumped off and spurned lovers strangling women with their own hair are creeping me out. And all those obscure literary allusions -- I mean really, give me something I can use." EBB was more popular than her husband during their lifetimes. What I love about Robert Browning is his willingness to examine the more seemy side of life and to unapologetically portray villianous speakers. He's a standout among his fellow Victorians because of his beautiful mastery of the dramatic monologue. Check out "My Last Duchess," "Porphyria's Lover," :Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came," and "The Bishop Orders His Tomb at St. Praxad's." Be sure to read them aloud -- they're meant to be heard.

  26. 4 out of 5

    John Bils

    Robert Browning’s Poetry contains a full range of Browning's poetic works from periods of his career demarcated in the collection with section headings: "The Experimental Phase (1833-1845)"; "The Major Phase (1855-1869)"; and "The Later Achievement (After 1870)." Editor John F. Loucks also excerpts one of Browning's prose works, "Introductory Essay," from an 1852 collection of private correspondence attributed to (at the time of its initial publication, anyway, though since then critics have dee Robert Browning’s Poetry contains a full range of Browning's poetic works from periods of his career demarcated in the collection with section headings: "The Experimental Phase (1833-1845)"; "The Major Phase (1855-1869)"; and "The Later Achievement (After 1870)." Editor John F. Loucks also excerpts one of Browning's prose works, "Introductory Essay," from an 1852 collection of private correspondence attributed to (at the time of its initial publication, anyway, though since then critics have deemed "that at least one of the letters [in the collection] was spurious" (Loucks pg. 445)) the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, Letters of Percy Bysshe Shelley.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    One Way of Love All June I bound the rose in sheaves. Now, rose by rose, I strip the leaves And strew them where Pauline may pass. She will not turn aside? Alas! Let them lie. Suppose they die? The chance was they might take her eye. II. How many a month I strove to suit These stubborn fingers to the lute! To-day I venture all I know. She will not hear my music? So! Break the string; fold music's wing: Suppose Pauline had bade me sing! III. My whole life long I learned to love. This hour my utmost art I prove A One Way of Love All June I bound the rose in sheaves. Now, rose by rose, I strip the leaves And strew them where Pauline may pass. She will not turn aside? Alas! Let them lie. Suppose they die? The chance was they might take her eye. II. How many a month I strove to suit These stubborn fingers to the lute! To-day I venture all I know. She will not hear my music? So! Break the string; fold music's wing: Suppose Pauline had bade me sing! III. My whole life long I learned to love. This hour my utmost art I prove And speak my passion---heaven or hell? She will not give me heaven? 'Tis well! Lose who may---I still can say, Those who win heaven, blest are they!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kajah

    I love Browning. After reading Byatt's Possession I took up his poetry and have been delighted by them ever since. He seems to channel other time periods and people in enchanting ways and skimming around his complete works offers up so many pleasantly variegated sensations. The one I read the most is probably "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came", which for the present seems ungraspable, urgent, and hauntingly desperate in it's tone. I have the feeling Browning is going to be a worthy escape in I love Browning. After reading Byatt's Possession I took up his poetry and have been delighted by them ever since. He seems to channel other time periods and people in enchanting ways and skimming around his complete works offers up so many pleasantly variegated sensations. The one I read the most is probably "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came", which for the present seems ungraspable, urgent, and hauntingly desperate in it's tone. I have the feeling Browning is going to be a worthy escape in times of trouble and boredom.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    I took a seminar at Davidson on Robert Browning- before this class I really had only read "My Last Duchess" and didn't know much about him. I now consider him one of my favorite poets (and I really only have two) and it's because of his use of the dramatic monologue which makes his poetry read like narrative prose, even when it has a regular metre and rhyme scheme. His poems take on specific characters and tell stories and frequently his characters are cynical or unsavory. Genius and delightful I took a seminar at Davidson on Robert Browning- before this class I really had only read "My Last Duchess" and didn't know much about him. I now consider him one of my favorite poets (and I really only have two) and it's because of his use of the dramatic monologue which makes his poetry read like narrative prose, even when it has a regular metre and rhyme scheme. His poems take on specific characters and tell stories and frequently his characters are cynical or unsavory. Genius and delightful to read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Faith Bradham

    This is not the book I read, but I could not find what I read ... and this is as close as I could find. I must admit that I didn't like it very well ... I found Browning's rythym off enough to distract me but not off enough to sound good. :S I'll give him credit for his lyrical words, but that's about it.

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