Tag Archives: Sonnet 43

BBC Bitesize revision – ‘Relationships’ cluster

Click on the image to go to BBC Bitesize revision for the 'Relationships' cluster of the AQA Anthology.

BBC Bitesize for GCSE English Literature is an excellent resource for your revision of the poems. They have put together some excellent revision notes on each of the poems from the ‘Relationships’ cluster of the AQA Anthology. Many of the notes also include videos or audio recordings of the poems.

You can also discuss poems and exam approaches with other pupils on their GCSE English Message Board follow BBC Bitesize on Facebook.

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‘Sonnet 43’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

In 1997, the BBC broadcast a programme called The Nation’s Favourite Love Poem. One of the poems discussed in the programme was Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s ‘Sonnet 43’, which is in the ‘Relationships’ section of the AQA Anthology. This clip features a reading of the poem, which expresses Elizabeth’s intense love for her then husband-to-be, the poet Robert Browning. The clip also gives a brief potted history of the relationship between Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning as well as an examination of their love which can be used to add context to ‘Sonnet 43’. Although you are not specifically being marked for your understanding of the context, this context can help you with your reading and analysis of the poem.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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‘Sonnet 43’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Sonnet 43

"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!"

As Wildern has chosen today to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day in school, I thought I’d share this video of a dramatic reading of one of the romantic poems from the ‘Relationships’ cluster of the AQA Anthology.

My favourite ever reading of this poem is from the cartoon Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown (1975), when Sally receives a love heart sweet with the entire poem written on it! Charlie Brown’s pet dog, Snoopy, mimes along dramatically to the words as she reads it aloud. I hope that any Valentine’s cards you received today or that you get on the 14th are as romantic as this poem!

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What is iambic pentameter?

Iambic pentameter is the rhythmic structure, or metre, used in many of the poems in the AQA Anthology. Here is a list of poems that use iambic pentameter in their structure:

Character and Voice

  • ‘The Clown Punk’ by Simon Armitage
  • ‘My Last Duchess’ by Robert Browning
  • ‘A Vision’ by Simon Armitage
  • Extract from ‘The Prelude’ by William Wordsworth
  • ‘Sonnet 116’ by William Shakespeare
  • ‘Sonnet 43’ by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  • ‘Nettles’ by Vernon Scannell

But what is iambic pentameter? Well, hopefully this brilliant video will help you understand it…

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