Sadly, poetry just doesn't make it into the hands of enough of today's consumers to really have a place in popular culture. This is a real shame, because if there's one thing that can come in handy on Feb. 14, it's being able to recite some love poems for Valentine's Day by heart to your significant other. Don't worry though, guys. I've got you covered.
Rounded up below are five perfectly wonderful poems to read and let soak in this Feb. 14 — because if there was ever a holiday to embrace the art form, it's Valentine's Day. Love is in the air, so why not let romanticism be in your words? Makes sense to me.
From Shakespeare to E.E. Cummings, these mushy, gushy, over the top love poems are everything your heart and inner poet desires. Tell the one you love exactly how much you love him or her, and do it with someone else's words. (Hey, if something works, why change it?) Memorize one, write one in a card, or simply send them to your loved one. It doesn't take much effort to show your love, and really friends, I've already done all the work for you (and these poets helped too, I guess).
1. "I loved you first: but afterwards your love" — Christina Rossetti
I loved you first: but afterwards your loveOutsoaring mine, sang such a loftier songAs drowned the friendly cooings of my dove.Which owes the other most? my love was long,And yours one moment seemed to wax more strong;I loved and guessed at you, you construed meAnd loved me for what might or might not be –Nay, weights and measures do us both a wrong.For verily love knows not ‘mine’ or ‘thine;’With separate ‘I’ and ‘thou’ free love has done,For one is both and both are one in love:Rich love knows nought of ‘thine that is not mine;’Both have the strength and both the length thereof,Both of us, of the love which makes us one.
3. "Love" — Elizabeth Barrett Browning
We cannot live, except thus mutuallyWe alternate, aware or unaware,The reflex act of life: and when we bearOur virtue onward most impulsively,Most full of invocation, and to beMost instantly compellant, certes, thereWe live most life, whoever breathes most airAnd counts his dying years by sun and sea.But when a soul, by choice and conscience, dothThrow out her full force on another soul,The conscience and the concentration both makemere life, Love. For Life in perfect wholeAnd aim consummated, is Love in sooth,As nature’s magnet-heat rounds pole with pole.
3. "Sonnet 65" — William Shakespeare
Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless seaBut sad mortality o’er-sways their power,How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,Whose action is no stronger than a flower?O, how shall summer’s honey breath hold outAgainst the wrackful siege of batt’ring days,When rocks impregnable are not so stout,Nor gates of steel so strong, but time decays?O fearful meditation! where, alack,Shall time’s best jewel from time’s chest lie hid?Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid? O, none, unless this miracle have might, That in black ink my love may still shine bright.
4. "[love is more thicker than forget]" — E.E. Cummings
love is more thicker than forgetmore thinner than recallmore seldom than a wave is wetmore frequent than to fail
it is most mad and moonlyand less it shall unbethan all the sea which onlyis deeper than the sea
love is less always than to winless never than aliveless bigger than the least beginless littler than forgive
it is most sane and sunlyand more it cannot diethan all the sky which onlyis higher than the sky
Images: Susana Fernandez, Franck Mahon, Susanne Nilsson, Vinoth Chandar, Camdiluv, Alexander Mueller/Flickr