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Say Anything is Really Just a Remake of The Barretts of Wimpole Street

Does everyone know about the Brownings? Sweet, romantic story where she was this bedridden (kind of), acclaimed poetess, and he was this dashing young man six years her junior who was all Say Anything holding up a boombox outside her window in love with her. And they got married and it's really cute.

BUT -- and this is not my area, so this is wholly based off what I learned like eight years ago in my Victorian lit class -- he was kinda jealous of her and her fame and awesome poetry. Because he wrote poems too. Mostly monologuey, dramatic poems, a conclusion I base entirely off 'My Last Duchess' and 'Ulysses,' which isn't even BY him but because we read it at the same time as My Last Duchess, I keep thinking they're both by Browning (Tennyson wrote 'Ulysses' and it is the shittiest of poems because ODYSSEUS AND PENELOPE FOREVER you bastard).

This is all to preface that I've kind of always seen Robert Browning as this lesser poet next to EBB, because while my 18-year-old I-feel-things-more-deeply-than-you self broke down crying in class while reading aloud from one of her Sonnets from the Portuguese (IT'S REALLY BEAUTIFUL OK), his stuff was kinda "Eh. This is all right."

And check out how awesome she looked.

BUT THEN. I was waiting for a friend at a cafe, and I grabbed a book at random off my shelf before heading over, because why would I bring a book I've already started, and it was a book of poetry I've had for yeeeears but never opened. So there I am, in this cafe, starting this extraordinarily long poem by Robert Browning, which I'm dimly aware is seen as his masterpiece, and I'm thinking 'You know...this is excellent. I would even say amazing. Look at his way with words! Robert Browning is a genius and you have never given him full credit for this! Maybe he WAS just unfairly overshadowed by EBB in her lifetime!'

Then my friend showed up, and I was all ready to go into how I had misjudged Robert Browning all these years, when I looked at the cover, and under Aurora Leigh and Other Poems, it of course said -- 'By Elizabeth Barrett Browning.' 


Sorry, Robert. Maybe next year.


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