1857 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Walter Savage Landor to John Forster, 1857; Forster, Landor, a Biography (1869) 47-48.



I am reading a poem full of thought and fascinating with fancy, — Mrs. Browning's Aurora Leigh. In many pages, and particularly 126 and 127, there is the wild imagination of Shakespeare. I have not yet read much further. I had no idea that any one in this age was capable of so much poetry. I am half drunk with it. Never did I think I should have a good hearty draught of poetry again: the distemper had got into the vineyard that produced it. Here are indeed, even here, some flies upon the surface, as there always will be upon what is sweet and strong. I know not yet what the story is. Few possess the power of construction.