‘More Strong Than Time’ by Victor Hugo is a powerfully romantic poem that declares love as withstanding the withering effects of time.
The inciting emotion that inspires the entire poem is the speaker's genuine love for their beloved. It's the kind of love that overflows the individual and radiates out of them, invigorating them to a fullness of life that was before unreachable. The intensity of the speaker's emotion is matched only by their boldness in challenging times.
Since I have set my lips to your full cup, my sweet,
Since I my pallid face between your hands have laid,
Since I have known your soul, and all the bloom of it,
And all the perfume rare, now buried in the shade;
‘Permanently’ by Kenneth Koch is a poem that compares the speaker’s love to the part of speech they view as the most essential.
At its core Koch's poem is a love poem, created to uniquely express their feelings to their beloved. The speaker does this in a way that at first feels counterintuitive, telling a different story about love between parts of speech, but then using that to accentuate the way they are permanently in love/
One day the Nouns were clustered in the street.
An Adjective walked by, with her dark beauty.
The Nouns were struck, moved, changed.
The next day a Verb drove up, and created the Sentence.
Explore ‘Death of a Young Woman,’ where Clarke depicts how a loved one’s death lets a person free from their inward, endless suffering.
The speaker of 'Death of a Young Woman' talks about a man's unconditional and heartfelt love for his loved one.
He wept for her and for the hard tasks
He had lovingly done, for the short,
Fierce life she had lived in the white bed,
For the burden he had put down for good.
‘Another Insane Devotion’ by Gerald Stern is about a man reflecting on his life experiences. His memories, while not always easily understood, help him see the value of the choices he has made.
It is not immediately clear that this is a love poem. It turns out that rather than being a story about a feral cat, the poem is actually about a love affair. The two people involved parted ways thirty-five years ago, but they have a child together that the man has never met. While the poem could be heartbreaking, the speaker maintains his affection for the woman and feels a sense of peace about the situation.
This was gruesome—fighting over a ham sandwich
with one of the tiny cats of Rome, he leaped
on my arm and half hung on to the food and half
hung on to my shirt and coat.
‘Corinna’s Going A-Maying’ is a carpe diem (Latin for “seize the day”) poem in which the speaker urges his beloved, Corinna, to arise from bed and join him in the festivities of May Day already in progress.
This is a love poem in which the speaker urges his beloved, Corinna, to arise from bed and join in with him the celebrations of May Day that are already going on. While the speaker does not directly declare his love nor spend any words praising Corinna, as is seen in many poems of love, he does indirectly imply that he would like to marry Corinna.
Get up, get up for shame, the Blooming Morne
Upon her wings presents the god unshorne.
See how Aurora throwes her faire
Fresh-quilted colours through the aire:
‘A Thunderstorm In Town’ by Thomas Hardy presents two contrasting scenes: the dry interior of a carriage and the havoc of a thunderstorm outside. But the powerful imagery and symbolism mainly illustrate a memory of lovelorn regret by the speaker.
The speaker may not call it love, but some attraction exists between them and the woman. Ambiguity makes their relationship unclear, but their desire to kiss them doesn’t come out of nowhere. It’s clear from their observations of their attire that they admire their companion in a manner that’s more than just platonic.
She wore a 'terra-cotta' dress,
And we stayed, because of the pelting storm,
Within the hansom's dry recess,
Though the horse had stopped; yea, motionless
‘The Quilting’ by Paul Laurence Dunbar is a very short love poem that reveals the speaker’s growing affection for a woman named Dolly.
Through the use of ordinary language and mundane symbolism, this poem is very easy to enjoy and empathize with. Anyone who has ever felt love for another person or has developed a crush has likely been in the speaker's shoes, which makes this poem almost timeless.
Dolly sits a–quilting by her mother, stitch by stitch,
Gracious, how my pulses throb, how my fingers itch,