30 review for Robert Browning's Poetry

  1. 4 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. 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

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jelena Nemet

    How sad and bad and mad it was - but then, how it was sweet!

  5. 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. 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.

  6. 5 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. 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.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Clare Bear

    I love the poem Porphyria's Lover. I love the poem Porphyria's Lover.

  8. 4 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. 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.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Len

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

  10. 5 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. 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.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Keith

    For me, Robert Browning is that guy you don’t like, but you share the same friends, he goes to the same parties, he’s in your book group, and you go the bookstore and there he is. You obviously share a lot in common with him, but you just don’t get along. I’ve sworn him off several times in disgust. I’ve literally thrown down his books in befuddlement. As I noted in my review of one of his books, he is painful to read. I’m not sure it is possible to say so little in such a difficult manner. A crit For me, Robert Browning is that guy you don’t like, but you share the same friends, he goes to the same parties, he’s in your book group, and you go the bookstore and there he is. You obviously share a lot in common with him, but you just don’t get along. I’ve sworn him off several times in disgust. I’ve literally thrown down his books in befuddlement. As I noted in my review of one of his books, he is painful to read. I’m not sure it is possible to say so little in such a difficult manner. A critic (who I don’t recall) once said that there is nothing wrong with complex, complicated poetry if the sentiment underlying it is complex and complicated. Unfortunately for the readers of Browning, he makes simple propositions complicated. I mean, I recognize the words (well, most of them) as English. The syntax, though, is so tortured and contorted as to be unrecognizable. The music, if there ever was any, is lost beneath a din of incomprehensibility. I defy anyone to try diagramming some of the sentences of this poetry. What he’s writing about is not difficult. He’s not necessarily expressing complicated thoughts or metaphors or philosophies. It’s just written in a contorted, violently anti-English form that makes understanding almost impossible. So I’ve sworn him off. Several times. Yet I keep coming back. I guess it’s because we live in the same space. I’m curious what he’s done. I forget how painful reading him can be. And I keep coming back. This is about as good a single volume of work you’ll find of Browning’s works. The poems and play excerpts are well annotated and the essays are somewhat helpful. I’ve probably read all these poems at some point in my life. Here’s are my comments as I re-read them. (By the way, my favorite work of Browning’s is his “transcript” of Agamemnon.) Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came *** -- One thing I’ll say about Browning, some of his works have a quirkiness to them. This is certainly one of them. The dreamy quest is confusing, inspiring and dispiriting. When Browning gets out of his comfort zone – outside his rather confined views – strange things happen, and because its Browning they happen strangely.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kari Trenten

    This author made a lot of assumptions about not only Browning; but morals, people, nature, and art itself which he treated as fact, blending these assumptions with actual facts in a way I found arrogant and irresponsible. He also expressed enthusiasm and passion for Browning’s work with an exquisite eloquence, punctuated by the very samples of Browning that stirred his passion. It’s because of the latter I gave him three stars. Still reader discretion, caution, and cynicism is advised, should yo This author made a lot of assumptions about not only Browning; but morals, people, nature, and art itself which he treated as fact, blending these assumptions with actual facts in a way I found arrogant and irresponsible. He also expressed enthusiasm and passion for Browning’s work with an exquisite eloquence, punctuated by the very samples of Browning that stirred his passion. It’s because of the latter I gave him three stars. Still reader discretion, caution, and cynicism is advised, should you decide to give into the author’s (and Browning’s) eloquence and read this.

  13. 4 out of 5

    André

    I liked some of the poems, but that's about it. The synopsis on the back-cover should have been enough for me to understand I wouldn't enjoy it, since it says Browning's strand of poetry contrasts with that of Tennyson's which I very much enjoy. Most of it is narrative, not at all interesting narrative, and the language used doesn't have a very nice flow, sometimes no flow whatsoever. I felt I was reading prose throughout most of the book. I liked some of the poems, but that's about it. The synopsis on the back-cover should have been enough for me to understand I wouldn't enjoy it, since it says Browning's strand of poetry contrasts with that of Tennyson's which I very much enjoy. Most of it is narrative, not at all interesting narrative, and the language used doesn't have a very nice flow, sometimes no flow whatsoever. I felt I was reading prose throughout most of the book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Debs

    Loved the undercurrent of irony in 'My Last Duchess'; felt sorry for the desperation of the heroine in 'The Laboratory'. Again, this guy masters the craft of blending structure and symbolism into his poetry without needing to resort to modern free verse. Loved the undercurrent of irony in 'My Last Duchess'; felt sorry for the desperation of the heroine in 'The Laboratory'. Again, this guy masters the craft of blending structure and symbolism into his poetry without needing to resort to modern free verse.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Noah

    I've had a hard time with the excerpts from Ring and the Book. They're too long-winded. Some of his earlier narratives are also somewhat weak. Still, the great strengths of his best poems are hard to deny. I've had a hard time with the excerpts from Ring and the Book. They're too long-winded. Some of his earlier narratives are also somewhat weak. Still, the great strengths of his best poems are hard to deny.

  16. 4 out of 5

    BookAholic12

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

  17. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Pitkin

    I used to pass over Robert Browning - he was good, but just not of interest. But he is a pivotal and somewhat-unacknowledged author who shepherded many elements that prefigured modernism.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Loea

    i've never been so horrified by a dramatic monologue (in the best possible way). my last duchess and porphyria's lover gave me nightmares (because they were executed so well). i've never been so horrified by a dramatic monologue (in the best possible way). my last duchess and porphyria's lover gave me nightmares (because they were executed so well).

  19. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    Time to re-read and re-assess

  20. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    I've done it before and regretted it, but reading a huge collection of a single poet's work always seems an overkill to me. The individual poems lose their context and their setting, and one can easily grow tired of a similar style spanning a long career. This compilation of Browning's poetry is overlong and contains quite a few dreary poems that dillute the effect of some of his better work. When he's good Browning stirs up quite a storm, a malevolent but romantic atmosphere that mixes the myst I've done it before and regretted it, but reading a huge collection of a single poet's work always seems an overkill to me. The individual poems lose their context and their setting, and one can easily grow tired of a similar style spanning a long career. This compilation of Browning's poetry is overlong and contains quite a few dreary poems that dillute the effect of some of his better work. When he's good Browning stirs up quite a storm, a malevolent but romantic atmosphere that mixes the mystic of English folklore and history with some of the misty grime of Victorian England to create something not unlike Edgar Allen Poe and a sense of social and historical setting that brings to mind many of the famous storytellers of the period; Doyle, Hardy, Dickens. While, truthfully, some of his very best are the less original early works, it is the later poems, long, dense, complicated narratives and structures, that bear his more distinct personal style and signature. The opening cluster of poems are great fun to read and full of the atmosphere of ages; The Pier Piper of Hamelin and Porphyria's Lover two of the very best. The shorter poems are a world away from his later work - little lyrical drops such as Song from Pippa Passes demonstrate another side to his work that is quite satisfying. But it is the difficult historical portraits like Fra Lippo Lippi or Andrea del Sarto that drag the middle section down as they require much more foreknowledge and time investment that a big collection like this lends itself to. Others win you over with a strange sense of the mysterious and the otherworldly - 'Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came' and A Death in the Desert were my favourites. At times Browning echoes a dark romantism that traces its way from nineteenth century horror novels to Goth rock of the 80s. Portraits like Mr Sludge 'The Medium' characterise his later work - overlong, hard to understand and laced with Dickensian black humour - but the final selection changes once again and Browning offers some of his most compact, accessible and deeply romantic pieces. Now or Never the Time and the Place could be the lyrics to a heartbreaking Cure song, Spring Song a jangly folk song by the Decemberists. (Wanting is - what?) is just a little piece of loveliness. Brownings influence, by this evidence, must have been widely felt. What a collection like this does is offer an overview and a chronology of his progress and development and one can see the way his style changed into something that was uniquely his own. Along the way there are some dull moments and definitely such a long compilation isn't the way to introduce oneself to such a great poet. 4

  21. 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.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Countess of Frogmere

    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.

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    As a poet, I admire Browning's structure more than the content of his work. His work does not move me in the way that others do, like Blake, Ferlinghetti, Poe, or Ginsberg. His works are certainly reflective of the Victorian Era in which he was writing. My favorite of all the works contained in this collection was "The Statue and the Bust." As a poet, I admire Browning's structure more than the content of his work. His work does not move me in the way that others do, like Blake, Ferlinghetti, Poe, or Ginsberg. His works are certainly reflective of the Victorian Era in which he was writing. My favorite of all the works contained in this collection was "The Statue and the Bust."

  28. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Absolutely loved this book . Browning's use of multiple pov and multiple verses means there are multiple versions of the same story and that's just genius .For me Browning remains the ultimate truth and this book captures the essence of this brilliance . Absolutely loved this book . Browning's use of multiple pov and multiple verses means there are multiple versions of the same story and that's just genius .For me Browning remains the ultimate truth and this book captures the essence of this brilliance .

  29. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    I haven't read all the poems. I enjoyed the shorter ones, and some of the longer ones, but I generally have a hard time sticking with a poem that goes on for several pages. A few poems were familiar from college freshman English class. By the way this book was a Christmas gift. I haven't read all the poems. I enjoyed the shorter ones, and some of the longer ones, but I generally have a hard time sticking with a poem that goes on for several pages. A few poems were familiar from college freshman English class. By the way this book was a Christmas gift.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Martinson

    I love his dramatic lyrics and monologues but his long form dramas tend to overyly florid and clunky. Mainly because he was more concerned with lyrical style than coherence of plot.

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