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Love poems to share with your friends and loved ones

Cupid’s month is here, and you know what that means: chocolate, flowers, and lots and lots of gifts! 

Even though Valentine’s Day is an old tradition, it wasn’t until the 19th to early 20th century that the idea of handing out pieces of chocolate inside heart-shaped boxes became popular. Since then, teddy-bears, heart-shaped balloons, and other goodies have been a staple of this tradition. However, I’d like to offer an alternative, non-consumerist way to celebrate and share this love-sprinkled holiday: poetry. Countless authors have pondered and celebrated love through the dynamic, rhythmic, and evocative language of poetry. So allow me to share these five love poems that I found on the American Academy of Poets website that are (in my opinion) worth reading. Don’t hesitate to recite some of these to your friends and loved ones. Poetry may not be the number one thing in people’s mind when it comes to Valentine’s, so this is your chance to spice it up! On top of that, it’ll make you look cultured!  :) No one expects poetry!

Anyway, let’s get the main show started.I hope you enjoy these poems. Please, share them too. 

  1. How Do I Love Thee? (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.

2. Endymion by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The rising moon has hid the stars;
Her level rays, like golden bars,
       Lie on the landscape green,
       With shadows brown between.

And silver white the river gleams,
As if Diana, in her dreams,
       Had dropt her silver bow
       Upon the meadows low.

On such a tranquil night as this,
She woke Endymion with a kiss,
       When, sleeping in the grove,
       He dreamed not of her love.

Like Dian’s kiss, unasked, unsought,
Love gives itself, but is not bought;
       Her voice, nor sound betrays
       Its deep, impassioned gaze.

It comes,—the beautiful, the free,
The crown of all humanity,—
       In silence and alone
       To seek the elected one.

It lifts the boughs, whose shadows deep,
Are Life’s oblivion, the soul’s sleep,
       And kisses the closed eyes
       Of him, who slumbering lies.

O, weary hearts! O, slumbering eyes!
O, drooping souls, whose destinies
       Are fraught with fear and pain,
       Ye shall be loved again!

No one is so accursed by fate,
No one so utterly desolate,
       But some heart, though unknown,
       Responds unto his own.

Responds,—as if with unseen wings,
A breath from heaven had touched its strings
       And whispers, in its song,
      “Where hast thou stayed so long!”

3. The Office Building by Helen Hoyt

We kissed there in the stone entrance,
In the great cool stone mouth of the building,
Before it took you.
We kissed under the granite arches.
And then you turned and were gone
And high about and above were the hard towered walls,
The terrible weights of stone, relentless,
But for the moment they had been kind to us,
Folding us with arms
While we kissed.

4. I, Lover by Elsa Gidlow

I shall never have any fear of love, 
Not of its depth nor its uttermost height,
Its exquisite pain and its terrible delight.
I shall never have any fear of love.

I shall never hesitate to go down
Into the fastness of its abyss
Nor shrink from the cruelty of its awful kiss.
I shall never have any fear of love.

Never shall I dread love’s strength
Nor any pain it might give.
Through all the years I may live
I shall never have any fear of love.

I shall never draw back from love
Through fear of its vast pain
But build joy of it and count it again.
I shall never have any fear of love.

I shall never tremble nor flinch
From love’s moulding touch:
I have loved too terribly and too much
Ever to have any fear of love.

5. Forget Me Not by Ann Plato

When in the morning’s misty hour,
When the sun beams gently o’er each flower;
When thou dost cease to smile benign,
And think each heart responds with thine,
When seeking rest among divine,
                                    Forget me not.

When the last rays of twilight fall,
And thou art pacing yonder hall;
When mists are gathering on the hill,
Nor sound is heard save mountain rill,
When all around bids peace be still,
                                    Forget me not.

When the first star with brilliance bright,
Gleams lonely o’er the arch of night;
When the bright moon dispels the gloom,
And various are the stars that bloom,
And brighten as the sun at noon,
                                    Forget me not.

When solemn sighs the hollow wind,
And deepen’d thought enraps the mind;
If e’er thou doest in mournful tone,
E’er sigh because thou feel alone,
Or wrapt in melancholy prone,
                                    Forget me not. 

When bird does wait thy absence long,
Nor tend unto its morning song;
While thou art searching stoic page,
Or listening to an ancient sage,
Whose spirit curbs a mournful rage,
                                    Forget me not.

Then when in silence thou doest walk,
Nor being round with whom to talk;
When thou art on the mighty deep,
And do in quiet action sleep;
If we no more on earth do meet,
                                    Forget me not.

When brightness round thee long shall bloom,
And knelt remembering those in gloom;
And when in deep oblivion’s shade,
This breathless, mouldering form is laid,
And thy terrestrial body staid,
                                     Forget me not.

“Should sorrow cloud thy coming years,
And bathe thy happiness in tears,
Remember, though we’re doom’d to part,
There lives one fond and faithful heart,
                        That will forget thee not.”

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Emilio M.

UPRM '22

Emilio Mejill is a fifth-year UPRM student pursuing a mayor in pure mathematics. His two dreams after graduating is to one day publish a novel and to drive from Miami to Seattle. He loves reading, learning about history, and strives to master koine greek.
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