Woman of the Page

A sonnet inspired by Elizabeth Barrett Browning


You were weak of body but strong of mind,

At four a bookworm, a precocious child,

Your father’s little Poet Laureate,

Who became addicted to opiates.

Illness and loss almost drove you insane,

Laudanum and morphine helped kill the pain,

Fuelling your wild imagination,

Saved by ardent religious persuasion.

Full of ‘fresh strange music’ and ‘brave new thought’,

Robert loved your verses with all his heart;

Politics, letters and your poetry

Brought secret love, marriage and Italy.

Disinherited daughter in a man’s age

Died ‘Beautiful’, a woman of the page.


© Kim M. Russell, 2016

Elizabeth Barratt Browning

Image found on www.poets.org