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Flapper Press Poetry Café Series: My Favorite Poetry—Elizabeth Barrett Browning

By Flapper Press Poetry Café:

The Flapper Press Poetry Café continues a new series of articles about favorite lines of poetry and the poets who wrote them. We’re reaching out to poets, writers, and lovers of poetry to submit their favorite lines of poetry and tell us why you love them.

Check out our submission guidelines and send us your favorites!

We'll feature your submission sometime this year on our site!

This week, our submission comes from Annie Newcomer on behalf of her late friend, John Powell Hastings.


From Annie Newcomer:

My friend John Hastings was in a solstice group with my husband and I. We met twice each year with our old running buddies to welcome in the new year and summer solstice. John died this summer. He will be greatly missed. I had asked him at our summer solstice to share his favorite poetry lines. This is his message to me and his selection. It is not lost on me that John could have himself written "How Do I Love Thee?" for his wife, Melanie, who he loved dearly.

Rest in peace, dear Limerick Meister.

From John Powell Hastings:

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Annie, you mentioned sonnets when we met Monday for Solstice Gathering, which reminded me of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's famous sonnet "How do I love thee, let me count the ways." In a devotional [that] Melanie (John’s wife) shared with me about the need to forgive was the account of Elizabeth's father, who did not want his children to marry. She married Robert Browning. He never forgave her or even read the countless letters of love she wrote him. This link tells that brief, sad story, which is a lesson for us to forgive, or the wonderful love from others might never reach us.

So my choice of favorite poetry lines is:

How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of being and ideal grace. I love thee to the level of every day’s Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for right.


To read more about Elizabeth Barrett Browning:

To read more poetry by Elizabeth Barrett Browning:



John Powell Hastings Bio (from his obituary)

John saw his law practice in estate planning as an opportunity to serve people and tried to keep families together at the difficult time of death. There were several years he also helped with a number of adoptions. Bering very pro-life, John called adoption “happy law.” John was very witty. He started writing five-line limericks years ago. They came together easily in his head. When he did cardiac rehab after heart stents at St. Luke’s Hospital, John wrote a couple of limericks for his rehab team. They framed the limericks and displayed them at their front desk. People enjoyed John’s sense of humor. For his bio to Flapper Press, he wrote this limerick:

A son, a grandson, nephew & dad of a preacher.

If that’s not enough, I am married to a teacher.

Along the way I got my MBA.

Prior to that was a CPA.

Now you’ve been limericked by a lawyer-creature.


Annie Klier Newcomer founded a not-for-profit, Kansas City Spirit, that served children in metropolitan Kansas for a decade. Annie volunteers in chess and poetry after-school programs in Kansas City, Missouri. She and her husband, David, and the staff of the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens are working to develop The Emily Dickinson Garden in hopes of bringing art and poetry educational programs to their community. Annie helms the Flapper Press Poetry Café—dedicated to celebrating poets from around the world and to encouraging everyone to both read and write poetry!

If you enjoyed this Flash Poet interview, we invite you to explore more here!

Presenting a wide range of poetry with a mission to promote a love and understanding of poetry for all. We welcome submissions for compelling poetry and look forward to publishing and supporting your creative endeavors. Submissions may also be considered for the Pushcart Prize. Please review our Guidelines before submitting!

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