Love poems tell of passion, lust, desire, anguish and overwhelming happiness. They can bring a reader to tears with vivid words and imagery that recount the grace, beauty and simplicity of one of our most complex emotions. On Valentine’s Day, there is perhaps no more authentic and revealing gesture than sharing a heartfelt poem with the person who fills your heart.
Below are some of our favorite love poems to woo your Valentine this year. Tell the recipient -- whether it’s a him, her, child or friend -- that you were inspired by some of history’s greatest literature to share your emotions with someone you care about.
love is more thicker than forget, By E. E. Cummings
love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall more seldom than a wave is wet more frequent than to fail it is most mad and moonly and less it shall unbe than all the sea which only is deeper than the sea love is less always than to win less never than alive less bigger than the least begin less littler than forgive it is most sane and sunly and more it cannot die than all the sky which only is higher than the sky
To A Stranger, By Walt Whitman
PASSING stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me, as of a dream,) I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you, All is recall'd as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured, You grew up with me, were a boy with me, or a girl with me, I ate with you, and slept with you- your body has become not yours only, nor left my body mine only, You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass- you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return, I am not to speak to you- I am to think of you when I sit alone, or wake at night alone, I am to wait- I do not doubt I am to meet you again, I am to see to it that I do not lose you.
Bar Napkin Sonnet #11, By Moira Egan
Things happen when you drink too much mescal.
One night, with not enough food in my belly, he kept on buying. I’m a girl who’ll fall damn near in love with gratitude and, well, he was hot and generous and so the least that I could do was let him kiss me, hard and soft and any way you want it, beast and beauty, lime and salt—sweet Bacchus’ pards— and when his friend showed up I felt so warm and generous I let him kiss me too. His buddy asked me if it was the worm inside that makes me do the things I do. I wasn’t sure which worm he meant, the one I ate? The one that eats at me alone?
Love and Friendship, By Emily Bronte
Love is like the wild rose-briar, Friendship like the holly-tree— The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms But which will bloom most constantly? The wild rose-briar is sweet in spring, Its summer blossoms scent the air; Yet wait till winter comes again And who will call the wild-briar fair? Then scorn the silly rose-wreath now And deck thee with the holly’s sheen, That when December blights thy brow He still may leave thy garland green.
Sonnet 43, By Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of being and ideal grace. I love thee to the level of every day’s Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for right. I love thee purely, as they turn from praise. I love thee with the passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.
Valentine, By Carol Anne Duffy
Not a red rose or a satin heart. I give you an onion. It is a moon wrapped in brown paper. It promises light like the careful undressing of love. Here. It will blind you with tears like a lover. It will make your reflection a wobbling photo of grief.
Going Steady, By Ian Serrallier
Valentine, O, Valentine, I’ll be your love and you’ll be mine. We’ll care for each other, rain or fine, And in 90 years we’ll be 99.