Do people write poems anymore? Once they leave school (where they’re effectively made to write them) I mean.
I like to read poems. I love flicking through old, well-thumbed copies of books from the likes of Maya Angelou and Seamus Heaney and I own more Best Children’s Poem books than most adults should ever own, but I haven’t written a poem in a very long time.
Poems have sadly become quite old fashioned and outside the school system, today, they’re almost obsolete.
Sitting down and writing a poem wouldn’t cross most people’s minds and writing poems to other human beings really isn’t the done-thing any more. The closest most people get to putting personal, meaningful pen to paper, is if they choose to write their wedding vows.
But once upon a time, before the days of Facebook, Skype and free telephone calls, people would write love letters and even more beautiful, they would write love poems.
I honestly think there’s nothing is more beautiful than a poem. Words deliberately written to paint pictures in your mind.
But what makes a love poem great?
Firstly, love poems try to make sense of love. The author might not succeed, but they’ve got to try. The best love poems ever written were created by those who dared attempt to make love real – something that could be felt through every word.
These poems have lasted through the ages and will continue long after you and I are gone.
Amazing thought, isn’t it?
Throughout history, people have written their deepest thoughts on paper and those words are still read and understood. Enduring. Untouched by the decades and centuries that have past. The authors still alive in thought.
A fan of poetry yourself? Everyone has their own taste, so I’ve put together a list of just 10 of the best love poems in various styles for you below. Enjoy!
Sonnet 116 “Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds” - William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare’s sonnet “Let Me Not to the Marriage of True Minds” is a classic. It’s a definition of love – the unbending, unchangeable nature of it. His words:
Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
A beautiful sonnet that will last forever. Read it here.
Sonnet 18 “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day”? - William Shakespeare
Another classic from Shakespeare. “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day”? is a sonnet to how beauty is seen by man, and how it fuels desire. His closing couplet summarises the sonnet wonderfully.:
“She Walks in Beauty” is one of the most romantic poems in all English literature. It captures a woman’s charm and elegance and sets a wonderful scene with such eloquence, it makes no wonder this poem is so popular.:
“Song for the Last Act” is a sonnet about love towards the end of one’s life. It’s gut-wrenching, teary and beautiful. Bogan’s first words set the scene immediately. :
Now that I have your face by heart, I look
Less at its features than its darkening frame
Where quince and melon, yellow as young flame,
This is a sonnet everyone can enjoy. Read it here.
“Voyages” – Hart Crane
I end with, perhaps, the best. “Voyages” is an immense poem that captures the imagination with its directness. It’s connected to love throughout.
It’s split into stages, from I to V and I can’t cherry-pick a section of this particular poem as it's all quite perfect. It’s all connected and it’s all very beautiful. A true masterpiece. Read it here.
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