ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Lovebirds & Robert Browning

Updated on January 10, 2010

What is your favorite poem by Robert Browning?

See results

Forbidden Love

I.
The grey sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low;
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed i' the slushy sand.

II.
Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, thro' its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!

-Robert Browning-

I’ve always liked the poem Meeting At Night by English poet and playwright, Robert Browning. It is one of the most visually descriptive poems I’ve ever read. His words are so well-chosen that you feel as if you are beside him on his journey to his love.

As it is night, his steps are barely lit by the moon and are all, but concealed. Were someone to hear his footsteps, they could easily be mistaken for phantom noises. A sea that by day is blue and welcoming by night is grey and mysterious. The sunny beach with its warm, sparkling sand is now “long black land.” As he runs past them, the waves are started from their sleep and “leap in fiery ringlets.” This word use suggests that they could cause him harm and keep him from his destination. However, he keeps running in the “slushy sand.” He is so motivated to get to his loved one that his steps are too fast for his shoes to get stuck.

In the second stanza, he has found the type of sand that you would find by day. It is “warm and sea-scented,” the perfect sand for a lover to run on. As he runs through three fields, you can almost feel his hot, labored breath. Though tired he must be, he is almost at journey’s end. He will not give up now. He arrives at the farm of his love. He must be quiet as not to awake her family. He gently taps on his love’s window pane and, perhaps having been waiting all night for his arrival, she lights a match. They speak softly to each other, “thro' its joys and fears.” His journey is complete.

Reading this poem, you can feel the runner’s immense love and motivation. To someone too wise to fall so hard, such a long, risky journey is unthinkable. For someone who has loved like the narrator or who is a hopeless romantic, his journey is enviable. Though his journey be long, the end result is worth every step.

To me, this poem speaks for anyone who has experienced forbidden love. It is a condensed version of Romeo and Juliet set in a farming community by the sea. Like Romeo, the narrator has so much to risk. He may get shot at by an angry father. He may get sucked into the waves and die on the beach. He may meet with an unsavory character (man or beast) in the fields. Yet, like Romeo, he doesn’t care. A simple kiss from his lady makes every possible risk and difficulty seem minor.

Such an old-fashioned story seems silly in our modern day world of widely accessible cars and children who disobey their parents without consequence. The idea of having to sneak around or wait until nightfall to see the one they love seems to be the practice of the few remaining parent-fearing lovebirds. No matter how you look at it though, it is undeniable that this is a beautiful poem. It is not surprising that Browning’s poems remain a popular choice for romantic readings on Valentine’s Day, at weddings and on anniversaries.


To read more poetry analysis by this writer, please click on the link below.
http://www.triond.com/users/lowellwriter

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • LowellWriter profile imageAUTHOR

      L.A. Walsh 

      9 years ago from Lowell, MA

      Thank you! :o)

    • profile image

      Anonymous 

      9 years ago

      One of my favorite authours. Excellent hub!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)