A Poem by Robert Browning on His Birthday

Flowers For Socrates

Robert Browning born on May 7, 1812 in Camberwell, a middle-class suburb of London. He was the only son of Robert Browning, a clerk in the Bank of England, and a devoutly religious German-Scotch mother, Sarah Anna Wiedemann Browning, who loved music. Browning’s father had amassed a personal library of some 6,000 volumes, many of them collections of arcane lore and historical anecdotes that the poet plundered for poetic material, including the source of “The Pied Piper.”

Browning has come to be regarded as a major Victorian poet, and his approach to dramatic monologue has influenced countless poets for almost a century. However, he is at least as famous for falling in love with Elizabeth Barrett, who began writing poetry at age 11, but by age 15, was suffering from intense head and spinal pain, and remained in frail health for the rest of her life. They met in 1845…

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