(For those who read the Valentine’s Day Survival Guide–Pts. 1 and 2–and are planning a party, I’ll get back with you on games and menu ideas tomorrow.)
Today I’m turning my attention to the guys– sharing some of my favorite love poems for inspiration. If you’re a guy and don’t want to write a poem for your girl, give her one of these. You could put your poem in a card, cook dinner for her and place it on her plate, or slip it in a box of candy. Regardless of what most of us say, we love a sweet talker…especially when you mean it.
If your girl isn’t a Domestic Diva like Martha Stewart or Rachel Ray, but her wit, people skills, and passion for life won your heart…
by John Frederick Nims
My clumsiest dear, whose hands shipwreck vases,
At whose quick touch all glasses chip and ring,
Whose palms are bulls in china, burs in linen,
And have no cunning with any soft thing
Except all ill-at-ease fidgeting people:
The refugee uncertain at the door
You make at home; deftly you steady
The drunk clambering on his undulant floor.
Unpredictable dear, the taxi drivers’ terror,
Shrinking from far headlights pale as a dime
Yet leaping before apopleptic streetcars—
Misfit in any space. And never on time.
A wrench in clocks and the solar system. Only
With words and people and love you move at ease;
In traffic of wit expertly maneuver
And keep us, all devotion, at your knees.
Forgetting your coffee spreading on our flannel,
Your lipstick grinning on our coat,
So gaily in love’s unbreakable heaven
Our souls on glory of spilt bourbon float.
Be with me, darling, early and late. Smash glasses—
I will study wry music for your sake.
For should your hands drop white and empty
All the toys of the world would break.
If your lady has opened you up in ways others couldn’t, give this to the one you’ve let in…
Somewhere I have Never Travelled
–e. e. cummings
somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look will easily unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously)her first rose
or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands
And to those who dare…
Wild Nights—Wild Nights!
Wild Nights–Wild Nights!
Were I with thee
Wild Nights should be
To a Heart in port–
Done with the Compass–
Done with the Chart!
Rowing in Eden
Ah, the Sea!
Might I but moor–Tonight–
More later. Or again, you could try to write your own, remembering that according to Plato, “At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet.”
i have always been partial to this Frank O’Hara piece… one of my favorite love poems.
Having A Coke With You
is even more fun than going to San Sebastain, Irun, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluoresent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasently definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles
and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them I look
at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the “Polish Rider” occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the “Nude Descending a Staircase” or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michaelangleo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the impressionists do them
when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully
as the horse
it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it
Hey Ms Mccain, this is sean. Here is my choice love poem for class. Thanks.
“He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.
Sustain me with cakes of raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am lovesick.
His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me.
I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the does of the field,
Do not stir up nor awaken love until it pleases.”