It may be that the origin of poetry itself was an outpouring of emotion inspired by the writer’s feelings of love for another person. There is something truly romantic in the thought that the arrangement of everyday words in verse form can evoke so much love, and that a person’s feelings can be so strong that they are compelled create art to express themselves. There is nothing more romantic than a hand-written love poem left on your partner’s pillow.
Love poems have been written almost as far back as the dawn of writing itself. The most famous of writers has produced romantic odes, from Shakespeare’s “Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day” to Edgar Allan Poe’s “A Dream”. Sometimes the most passionate of love poets use a strong but simple metaphor to illustrate their thoughts; 17th century poet John Donne wrote ‘The Flea’ in which he talks about the mingling of his and his partner’s blood within the insect, whereas modern-day poet Carol-Ann Duffy wrote about ‘The Onion’ with it’s many layers to be peeled off like a person’s layers of character. However, if you start writing about fleas and onions, your partner may not have a clue what you are talking about and may not be best pleased!
It is important to understand that romance is the way that you show your partner that you care about them. Every person has their own idea of what they consider romantic, and so you must know your partner well to write something romantic specifically for them. If you were to write the standard “Roses are red, violets are blue…”, it will have no particular meaning to the receiver. Instead, you must show the other person that you care enough to find out what is meaningful to them.
Here are a few top tips for the first time love poet…
Don’t worry about making it rhyme – writing rhyming verse is a specific skill that can take years to master, and it is not even necessary for poetry to rhyme. Simply express yourself in whatever words come to you. However, if you want to try writing in rhyme, make sure you assemble all your thoughts first. Write down what you want to say then work out how to make it rhyme.
Write by hand – preferably with a fountain pen and on good quality writing paper. A hand written poem is much more personal than a typed one.
Focus on the person you love – identify what is unique and special about that person. What is that makes you love them?
Use metaphor (comparison) – this is an age-old poetic device; compare the person, or their characteristics, to something that you find beautiful, such as the ocean or a flower. If they have lovely blonde hair, say what it reminds you of, maybe sunshine or yellow silk.
Express your emotions – say how this person makes you feel when you see them or think about them. This is probably the most powerful thing you can write about. Your partner wants to know how much you care about them, so say it loud and clear.
Keep it short and sweet – focus on saying a few things as well as you can, rather than writing a long, rambling essay about your partner. A two line poem that evokes passion is much more powerful than a page of words that don’t really hit the mark.
Avoid Jokes – now is not the time for humour. It is tremendously difficult to write humour successfully, especially in a love poem. If you speak from the heart, your lover will smile, they do not need a joke to make them happy.
How to make it read like a poem – you may find, after you have written down everything you want to say, that it reads like a letter rather than a poem. There is a simple trick you can use here; just break up the sentences into lines of unequal length. This will jolt the words out of the standard sentence structure and give them an unusual and poetic rhythm.
Give yourself plenty of time to write the poem. You may feel that you need to write several drafts before it sounds right. Good luck and show your partner how much you care about them!