Poetry is for lovers…

An archive of some of our favourite love poems…

e.e. cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)


Lorna Crozier

You’re so covered with scars
you forget where they come from.
Like birds they sing to the wounded
who descend from the railings of bridges
to follow you. In bars the cripples limp
to your table, drag their bleeding casts
towards the criss-cross of your face.
The old sit beside you in stations,
cough their lives into your lap. And now
I have crawled from under your bed to lie
against you. I trace the braille of your body:
the broken lip, the hole in the side
of your face. But you are emptied of stories.
Instead you press into my skin. The scars
cover me like feathers.


Patrick Lane

Behind your face a fish swims
covered with pale feathers.
At night when you lie
sleeping among the green
dreams your body calls love
I lift your eyelids, watch
his wandering among the white
rivers of your mind.


Emily Dickinson

Wild nights! Wild nights!
Were I with thee,
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile the winds
To a heart in port,—
Done with the compass,
Done with the chart.

Rowing in Eden!
Ah! the sea!
Might I but moor
To-night in thee!


Irving Layton

Love’s Diffidence

Love is so diffident a thing.
I scoop up my hands with air;
I do not find it there
Nor in my friend’s pleasure
Nor when the birds sing.

I am confused, forsaken.
I have lost the way.
Love’s not as some men say
In woman’s eyes, blue or grey;
Nor in kisses given and taken.

Love, I call out, find me
Spinning round in error.
Display your dank, coarse hair,
Your bubs and bulbous shoulder.
Then strike, witless bitch, blind me.


Frank O’Hara

 A Hill

“Yes, it’s disgusting
when you lose
control, but my
wilderness is love

of a kind, no?
And the purity
of my confusion is
there, it’s poetry

in love with you
along with me,
both of us love you
in the same “My!”

Yes, but don’t be
scared; poetry
is intangible and
there’s no purity

in me
outside of love,
which you can easily wreck
and I can lose.

Clouds pass in
my notorious eye
but you, through
all, I see.”


Anne Sexton

The Kiss

My mouth blooms like a cut.
I’ve been wronged all year, tedious
nights, nothing but rough elbows in them
and delicate boxes of Kleenex calling crybaby
crybaby , you fool!

Before today my body was useless.
Now it’s tearing at its square corners.
It’s tearing old Mary’s garments off, knot by knot
and see — Now it’s shot full of these electric bolts.
Zing! A resurrection!

Once it was a boat, quite wooden
and with no business, no salt water under it
and in need of some paint. It was no more
than a group of boards. But you hoisted her, rigged her.
She’s been elected.

My nerves are turned on. I hear them like
musical instruments. Where there was silence
the drums, the strings are incurably playing. You did this.
Pure genius at work. Darling, the composer has stepped
into fire.


Robert Burns

A Red, Red Rose

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June:
O my Luve’s like the melodie,
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry , my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve !
And fare-thee-weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ ’twere ten thousand mile!


Marilyn Dumont

Wild Berries

when I watch you move
it’s as if
my eyes are old hands
uncovering and furtively picking
wild berries
before they fall

it’s as if
I am parched
and you are water
and my eyes drink
till I am quenched
by your smooth taut skin

it’s as if
you are a gift I open
my eyes long fingers
slowly untying a thin ribbon
that slips
beneath crisp paper,
smoothed out
by one long slow glance


Ben Jonson

Song to Celia

Drinke to me, onely, with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kisse but in the cup,
And Ile not looke for wine.
The thirst, that from the soule doth rise,
Doth aske a drinke divine:
But might I of Jove’s Nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.
I sent thee, late, a rosie wreath,
Not so much honoring thee,
As giving it a hope, that there
It could not withered bee.
But thou thereon did’st onely breath,
And sent’st it back to mee:
Since when it growes, and smells, I sweare,
Not of it selfe, but thee.         

Leonard Cohen

I Long to Hold Some Lady 

I long to hold some lady
For my love is far away,
And will not come tomorrow
And was not here today.There is no flesh so perfect
As on my lady’s bone,
And yet it seems so distant
When I am all alone:As though she were a masterpiece
In some castled town,
That pilgrims come to visit
And priests to copy down.Alas, I cannot travel
To a love I have so deep
Or sleep too close beside
A love I want to keep.But I long to hold some lady,
For flesh is warm and sweet.
Cold skeletons go marching
Each night beside my feet.


Lucy Maud Montgomery

Forever

I.
With you I shall ever be;
Over land and sea
My thoughts will companion you;
With yours shall my laughter chime,
And my step keep time
In the dusk and dew
With yours in blithesome rhyme;
In all of your joy shall I rejoice,
On my lips your sorrow shall find a voice,
And when your tears in bitterness fall
Mine shall mingle with them all;
With you in waking and dream I shall be,
In the place of shadow and memory,
Under young springtime moons,
And on harvest noons,
And when the stars are withdrawn
From the white pathway of the dawn.

II.
O, my friend, nothing shall ever part
My soul from yours, yours from my heart!
I am yours and you mine, in silence and in speech,
Death will only seal us each to each.
Through the darkness we shall fare with fearless jest,
Starward we shall go on a joyous new quest;
There be many worlds, as we shall prove,
Many suns and systems, but only one love!


Edgar Allan Poe

A Valentine

For her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes,
Brightly expressive as the twins of Leda,
Shall find her own sweet name, that nestling lies
Upon the page, enwrapped from every reader.
Search narrowly the lines!- they hold a treasure
Divine- a talisman- an amulet
That must be worn at heart. Search well the measure-
The words- the syllables! Do not forget
The trivialest point, or you may lose your labor
And yet there is in this no Gordian knot
Which one might not undo without a sabre,
If one could merely comprehend the plot.
Enwritten upon the leaf where now are peering
Eyes scintillating soul, there lie perdus
Three eloquent words oft uttered in the hearing
Of poets, by poets- as the name is a poet’s, too,
Its letters, although naturally lying
Like the knight Pinto- Mendez Ferdinando-
Still form a synonym for Truth- Cease trying!
You will not read the riddle, though you do the best you can do.