Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it so consider writing a love poem.
You may want to start off by writing a short poem. Certainly, Emily Dickinson’s poems are concise.
It’s All I have to bring today (26)
It’s all I have to bring today –
This, and my heart beside –
This, and my heart, and all the fields –
And all the meadows wide –
Be sure you count – should I forget
Some one the sum could tell –
This, and my heart, and all the Bees
Which in the Clover dwell.
— Emily Dickinson
For a subject, consider writing about when you first met, describing how you felt and where you were. Or about one of your first dates. Don’t forget to ground your poem with heartfelt messages.
One way to write a short love poem is to construct it along the lines of a cinquain – but, instead of counting syllables as in the traditional five-line cinquain, use words. Jennifer Goode offers suggestions on how to write this short poem:
In line 1, use a noun (that also can be the poem’s title) – 1 word
line 2: a description – 2 words
line 3: an action – 3 words
line 4: a feeling (use a phrase) – 4 words
line 5: a noun (either repeat line 1 or use a synonym) – 1 word
Here’s what I wrote using Jennifer Goode’s exercise:
intoxicate with touching
tenderness. I treasure each
Another mode to use is to write an acrostic poem in which every line starts with a letter of a word that is displayed vertically. Jennifer Goode suggests using “I love you” in an acrostic poem:
Or you could use your sweetie’s name or the nickname you call her:
Why not try a method used by Pablo Neruda? In “Your Feet” he takes a less-often admired part of his beloved’s body and writes why he loves them:
When I cannot look at your face
I look at your feet.
Your feet of arched bone,
your hard little feet.
I know that they support you,
and that your sweet weight
rises upon them.
Your waist and your breasts,
the double purple
of your nipples,
the sockets of your eyes
that have just flown away,
your wide fruit mouth,
your red tresses,
my little tower.
But I love your feet
only because they walked
upon the earth and upon
the wind and upon the waters,
until they found me.
— Pablo Neruda
Perhaps in your poem you’ll say why you love her neck, her small wrist, earlobe, dimples or freckles.
For the adventurous among my readers, try your hand at composing a love sonnet. To make it easier, here’s an idea that came from Jim Behrle on The Awl:
steal (excuse me: borrow) the end words of one of Shakespeare’s sonnets and fill in the lines.
The end words of Shakespeare’s Sonnet XCVIII (“From you have I been absent in the spring” has easier end words than his sonnet “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?”:
With these end words, you have opportunities for comparisons and for sensory images.
And finally for the last-minute love-poem writer, there’s a website that let’s you fill in the blanks (Remember MadLibs?).
For a simple love poem:
Click here to start the fill-in-the-blanks love poem
Or a Neruda poem of your own:
Click here to generate a Neruda poem of your own