When she died in 1848, aged just 30, Emily Brontë had written just one novel, Wuthering Heights. Of course, that novel was a classic and remains one of the most popular and widely read Victorian novels. But Emily Brontë also wrote many poems. ‘Love and Friendship’ sees Emily Brontë reflecting on the differences between these two pillars of our emotional lives.
Love is like the wild rose-briar,
Friendship like the holly-tree—
The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms
But which will bloom most constantly?
The wild rose-briar is sweet in spring,
Its summer blossoms scent the air;
Yet wait till winter comes again
And who will call the wild-briar fair? Read the rest of this entry
A summary of a classic poem
When Poems of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell was published in 1846, it initially sold just two copies. The authors of the poems, better known as Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë, had published the volume in the hope of raising some much-needed cash, but it was not to be. Copies were sent to established poets, including William Wordsworth, but none of them wrote back to the then unknown Brontë siblings. Included in the volume was the following poem by Emily Brontë (1818-1848), best known for her novel Wuthering Heights but also a gifted poet. ‘No Coward Soul Is Mine’ wonderfully showcases Emily’s dauntless and elemental spirit, as the following brief analysis is designed to show.
No Coward Soul Is Mine
No coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the world’s storm-troubled sphere:
I see Heaven’s glories shine,
And faith shines equal, arming me from Fear. Read the rest of this entry
The best Emily Brontë poems
Although she is best-known for her one novel, Wuthering Heights (1847), Emily Brontë started out as a poet and left behind some widely anthologised pieces of verse. Below are eight of the shortest and sweetest of the poems she wrote before her untimely death, from tuberculosis, at just 30 years of age. The two great poems we haven’t included are ‘No Coward Soul Is Mine’ and ‘Remembrance’, because they’re slightly longer; but you can read ‘Remembrance’ here and ‘No Coward Soul Is Mine’ here.
1. ‘All hushed and still within the house’. This is a short piece, almost a fragment. The powerful two-word phrase ‘Never again’ and its near-synonyms (consider Edgar Allan Poe’s use of ‘Nevermore’ in ‘The Raven’) is put to effective use in this seven-line verse:
All hushed and still within the house;
Without – all wind and driving rain;
But something whispers to my mind,
Through rain and through the wailing wind,
Never again. Read the rest of this entry