"A Recognition" dramatizes the same progression into silence and vision as "A Desire"; in the sestet, even the beat of Sand's heart is seen rather than heard ("We see thy woman-heart beat evermore"), a statement mirrored by the line's meter in which stress falls on the composite word, woman-heart (like silent-bare from EBB's "Grief") rather than on the word "beat." This evolution away from voice and sound and toward a feminized silence occurs in other sonnets by EBB such as "Irreparableness
" (1844) and sonnet XIII from Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850).
The opening of Barrett's "Irreparableness" is similar to that of Wordsworth's sonnet.
While seeming to provide a straight-forward example of Barrett's investment in non-recuperative silence, "Irreparableness" is also a difficult poem to read.
If in her sonnet to Mitford, Barrett ironizes conventional femininity, in "Irreparableness" this dismissiveness is shown to culminate in impotence and death.
As in Barrett's letter to Mitford, written at the same time as the composition of "Irreparableness," the resemblance between poetry and grief is apparent here, but this time with a twist.