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(6 March 1806 – 29 June 1861 / Durham / England)

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A Curse For A Nation

I heard an angel speak last night,
And he said 'Write!
Write a Nation's curse for me,
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Comments about this poem (Cheerfulness Taught By Reason by Elizabeth Barrett Browning )

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  • Savita Tyagi (6/12/2013 5:26:00 PM)

    Ye shall watch while strong men draw the nets of feudal law to strangle the weak A happening of centuries- the curse that keeps on falling upon most prosperous! Wonderful poem!

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Joseph Abutu (6/12/2013 7:40:00 AM)

    This is fine and absolute. Elizabeth, this poem has inspired me.

  • Deci Hernandez (6/12/2012 10:14:00 AM)

    you can see this poem still taking part in today's american society. not with slavery but with our gov't still. i wonder if she wrote this poem in a night. for how could such intellect be gathered plainly and with flawless structure unless it took many days to write or unless there was a God at hand.

  • Oludipe Oyin Samuel (6/12/2012 4:44:00 AM)

    An energetic poem not only against slavery but every conflagration of bestial tyranny and short-mindedness.

  • Emmanuel Solorzano (3/23/2012 12:42:00 AM)

    This poem was against american slavery. it was published in an abolitionist newspaper and then again in Poems Before Congress. I think she uses the 'curse' because of the old testament prophets who spoke up against Israel and also against foreign nations. she may mean to show the lack of Christian behavior our supposedly Christian nation (at the time) was showing in keeping slaves. anyway, the poem's interesting. I like the prologue particularly. just beautiful.

  • Joseph Poewhit (6/12/2010 7:43:00 PM)

    An anti - slavery poem it would appear, with political undertones.

  • Manonton Dalan (6/12/2010 7:37:00 AM)

    i believe this is address to slavery in america...but why she picks this his dad once owns slaves in jamaica. it might be at that time you must protest on something. it might be fad at that time. now i could imagine why women movements pick her as role model.

  • Ramesh T A (6/12/2010 1:52:00 AM)

    Beggars and cry of women are great curse of a nation indeed! Nothing is perfect in any nation! Praises cannot last longer! Curses cannot be curtailed!

  • James Walter Orr (9/8/2009 10:17:00 PM)

    This poem is addressed to the state of mind of the world which opposes justice for all, freedom from all kinds of oppression, and that foments the the idea that progress is being made by walking in the blood of the helpless.

    EB has written more melodious poems, but none with more social impact. The questions was asked as to whether this poem swayed any of the slaveholders, and others of their ilk. One will never know for sure, but the slaves are free from chains today, and in some tomorrow will be free from the foot on the neck.

    As long as concentrations of power exist that exceed the power of the government, such as the huge industries that we all know exceed the power of and and all national governments, this poem will still be current and spot-on.

    One might go back and re-read the part of the poem where the idiots shout at the walls (sic) , and make them own assessment of whom those idiots consist today.

    Great Poem, great poet, and fully equal to her great husband.


  • Michael Pruchnicki (6/12/2009 6:13:00 PM)

    For once I agree 100% with Kevin Straw! The poem? by EB Browning does not measure up to her usual standard! Think about the 19th century and the British empire and the barbarians of the Middle East in today's world! I admire her work and that of her spouse Robert Browning who wrote some of the best poetry of the 19th century, bar none! Forget the hysterics of Guy and her sisters!

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