Cozy Apologia VS Sonnet 43 - Comparison

Elizabeth Barret-Browning's Sonnet 43 compared with Anita Dove's Cozy Apologia - both poems share the main theme of love


Cozy Apologia VS Sonnet 43 - Comparison


  • Context: both poets have dedicated these poems to their husbands (Robert Browning and Fred Viebahn) who were also both fellow writers or poets
  • Similarly to the above point, both poems are addressing the loved one, which shows familiarity and closeness - particularly in Sonnet 43 where Browning uses the pronoun 'thee' which is a slightly archaic informal way of saying 'you'
  • Both speakers refer to obstacles that have gotten in the way of their love. Browning speaks about her 'old griefs' and 'lost saints' which could refer to the struggles with her health and her father's disapproval of the relationship. Dove uses the hurricane Floyd as an obstacle - 'Floyd's cussing up a storm' - and both poems use this as a way of highlighting their dependency on their significant other
  • Both use some elements of traditional/stereotypical ways of portraying love. In Cozy Apologia, Dove describes Fred as a 'hero' with 'chain mail glinting' - the typical knight in shining armour to save a damsel in distress. Browning uses the sonnet format to demonstrate her feelings which is a traditional way to do so


  • Browning shows the presence of religion in the relationship through various references, for example 'my soul' and 'to the ends of Being and ideal Grace'. Contrasting with this, Dove tells us that there is something spiritual missing in her relationship - 'we're content but fall short of the Divine'
  • While Browning lists the reasons why she loves her husband so intensely and uses Sonnet 43 to describe her affection, Dove uses her previous relationships and 'awkward crushes' to show Fred's good features and qualities, and portrays him as a 'hero'. This could be interpreted that Browning has only one true love, whereas for Dove, she has had previous relationships but accepts that none are as strong as hers with Fred
  • Structure: Sonnet 43 is the traditional format for a love poem to convey feelings of affection and admiration. Cozy Apologia has fairly regular structure to reflect to normality and familiarity of the relationship, and the rhyme scheme breaks down in the middle to echo the potential destruction of the hurricane Floyd

Overall comparison


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