10 Heartfelt Love Poems That Stand The Test Of Time
Fumbling for words of love?
By Ariel Zeitlin
Let the great poets speak your heart on all occasions.
“Mad, bad, and dangerous to know,” the poet Lord Byron was the heartthrob of 19th-century London, setting the fashion for every tousled, troubled troubadour who has followed to the present day.
Despite Byron’s terrible reputation and deformed clubfoot, no one could resist his lyrical, romantic overtures (supposedly not even his own half-sister!) and this tender poem gives us a hint as to why.
Neruda may have served his native country as a diplomat and politician as well as winning the Nobel Prize for literature, but he was best known as “a frank, sensuous spokesman for love.”
Perhaps the most passionate of all modern poets, no one makes a woman with a past sound sexier than Neruda in these bold, ringing lines.
By the time the poetess met her much younger husband, Robert Browning, she was already a literary celebrity on both sides of the Atlantic, but her poor health and overprotective family kept her almost a prisoner in her room. Although Barrett Browning was already 40, she was forced to elope with her husband, and fled to Italy, where her newlywed bliss apparently continued.
As the first poet to popularize all lower case letters and random punctuation, e.e. cummings was considered a rule breaker.
But here he declares in subtle, heartfelt metaphors how deeply he respects her boundaries and how willing he is to retreat at the least sign of rejection.
Now that’s a timely poem.
he classical Greek poetess from the island of Lesbos, the reason we call gay women lesbians.
Remarkably, we only have a few fiery fragments of Sappho’s writing left, but they are still inspiring lovers of all kinds after almost 3,000 years.
As you might guess, Aiken was a man on intimate terms with tragedy.
When Conrad Aiken was a child, his father killed his mother and committed suicide himself.
Aiken grew up to be a sensitive soul; according to the Academy of American Poets, “he avoided military service during World War I by claiming that, as a poet, he was part of an ‘essential industry.'”
Aiken married three times but as we can see from the lines above, he never fully recovered from his childhood trauma.
Pakistan’s most beloved modern poet was as well-known for writing about political protest as romance.
But here Faiz carries on the tradition of classical South Asian love poetry, showing his lyrical, wistful side as he revels in the recollection of love.
Believe it or not, these darkly beautiful lines are actually part of a honeymoon poem, composed on England’s Dover Beach shortly after the poet’s wedding in 1851.
Maybe his new wife, Frances Lucy Wrightsman, was charmed by Arnold’s bleak passion, because their marriage lasted 37 more years and produced six children.