Rabbi Ben Ezra

Rabbi Ben Ezra

“Rabbi Ben Ezra “ is one of the best poems done by Browning’s philosophical hands. This poem consists of 192 lines and divided into 32 stanzas, each stanza consists of six lines. Except this “My Last Duchess “ is also one of the famous works of Browning. Robert Browning is basically famous for his philosophical perception.

Rabbi Ben Ezra

“Rabbi Ben Ezra” is a poem where Browning is talking about Abraham Ibn Ezra. Ha was a philosopher, theologian, scientist, and also a linguist. This man was a Spanish Rabbi.

In his first part of life, he made the sacrifice and for that the second that came to him was good. In this poem sometimes Browning also establishing this concept of life.

Meaning of rabbi ben ezra

Rabbi means a leader or a teacher who teaches the other people. Here poet addresses Ibn Ezra as a “rabbi” or leaders. The title of the poem is addresses him as a leader.

Analysis of the Poem

What does it mean to grow old with someone?

The very first lines of the poem are fantastically written where the poet is saying come and let us grow old together. From this line, people would think that perhaps he is addressing his beloved but these lines are dedicated to Abraham Ibn Ezra. And further poet is stating that the best is yet to be done.

Life will teach them what is the best thing. And then the poet is also saying addressing the god that he is the man of power who planned everything that is going to be held with life.

Rabbi ben Ezra theme

“trust god: see all, nor be afraid!”

There is nothing in this which will make humankind afraid just need to trust god. The next segment is very important which is full of philosophical touches.

Here the poet is asking do be happy with rose and Lily because something more than this is left to be done. In the next line, Browning is taking a historical reference from “ The Illiad” he is talking about Mars and Jove or Zeus.

Rabbi ben Ezra as a Philosophical poem

In every line, the poet is talking on the same thing that does not worry something is still left to have happened that Abraham was saying. Youth is an important part of life but when everyone will be old life will give them many more emotions.

Youth will stay for some years but old age will stay as long as you will let it stay. Life of mankind in between the hands of God who fed us. Here the poet is enunciation “ I must believe”. Poet further asking maybe to the readers that is life getting success that seems a failure.

“What is he but a brute
Whose fleet has soul to suit,”

Perhaps the poet is addressing Abraham Ibn Ezra who has fleet and soul too and his arms and hands want to play. Then suddenly poet addressing the god uttering that perfection is in every true which means God made everything with so gentle touches eyes, ears everything takes place in the perfect place.

Then the poet is saying the poet saw power when the heart continues beating. Everything that we have is given by God and these are beautiful because life itself beautiful. People have born to struggle and they all are doing.

Then the poet created a scenario that after getting head ground is created. Birds are flying and singing. These goods are made only for humankind. The soul is not helping human flesh but the flesh is helping the soul. This is imagery that has been shown to signify beauty.

Rabbi ben Ezra line by line explanation

Then age is getting older and the poet is lost the heritage of his youth. When the poem is progressing Browning creates an image of his old age.

Poet is making a scenario here that when he wage battle for the next and what weapons poet must select he does not know. Poet is getting old but there is are plenty of expectations and when a day ends the poet is getting one day older.

Poet claims that he had done all throughout his life and the future that would come that would prove his past days if life. In the last segments of the poem, Browning is taking biblical metaphors to make the god eternal. God is making his sons happy.

“My times be Thy hand!…
…Let age approve of youth, and death complete the same!”

These lines provoke the poet’s vision on God and throughout the poem, he exclaims to believe god because we, the reads are all living in his hands and poet too. And the youth of a person is significant so he is asking to make the youth approved by life that death will complete. Death has been shown in a positive that will complete the journey of life.

Rabbi Ben Ezra literary devices

“Rabbi Ben Ezra” is a dramatic monologue. In this poem, the poet does not use any specific rhyme scheme but which can be found is, aabccb. And it is written in iambic trimeter. Except these all some writing patterns can be found these are,
Alliteration, which means reparation of word, phrase, and a clause in a singular line one after another like, “Finished and finite”, “care the crop”, “to live and learn”.

Personification is also a part of this poem. These are, “Youth”, Death”, “God”.
To make the poem rich poet uses Anaphora, it means repeating a word, phrase in two lines one after another. Like,

“To man, with soul just nerves
To act to-morrow what he learns to-day:”


“Whose flesh has soul to suit,
Whose spirit works lest arms and legs…”

The rhetorical devices that are been used attract the readers to read in the depth. Browning’s philosophical view and his dramatic personae make the poem famous. Readers and critics both have appreciated this poem by critically analyzed.

Typical questions and answers about Rabbi Ben Ezra

Who called the poem Rabbi Ben Ezra a great song of life?

According to critics Rabbi Ben ezra is a song of life that browning had written is his own hand.

How do you know you’re meant for each other?

Here, for each other means poet and God.

When was Rabbi Ben Ezra written?

It was written in 1864 in the Victorian period.

How many stanzas are there in the poem Rabbi Ben Ezra?

It has 32 stanzas.

Who said Grow Old With Me The Best Is Yet to Be?

Here, the poet is saying to grow old with him.

 Read it also: Characteristics of John Donne’s Poetry

1 thought on “Rabbi Ben Ezra”

Leave a Comment