How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)
“How Do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth
and height my soul can reach,
when feeling out of sight.
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
smiles, tears, of all my life; and if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.”
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1806-1861
If you love someone, tell them. A cashier in a supermarket asked me eight years ago why I was spending $3.50 for an Asian pear, she had never seen me buy one (this is the country, cashiers know you). I said it was for my girlfriend, I wanted to show her how much I loved her. Good for you, she said, as several women in the line joined in to guide me and praise me for buying the pear. Don’t forget the small things, they said. Don’t forget to tell her every day that you love her.
I have not forgotten, even when we quarrel, not for a single day.